Beware Moving Cheese

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Somewhere, possibly here in the comments, someone referred to Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock as “we failed to die of future shock.”

I read the book when I was fourteen and last re-read it in my late twenties.  We’ve all passed a lot of water since then.  So I’m not going to claim I have a perfect recollection, but I don’t even remember his predicting social disintegration.  Just that some people would get profoundly uncomfortable and maybe be unable to cope with societal change.

I also do know it’s popular, particularly on the right to make fun of or talk about the book being discredited.

I neither know nor care if some of his examples were wrong, or if he had the wrong reasons to reach his conclusion.  But I’ll go bail for the principle that he expostulated: that as change accelerates any number of people become unable to cope with it.

In fact, I’ll plump down for a principle he didn’t propound: given a sufficiently fast change in how we live, what works and how things are done — every day things that affect the daily lives of every day people — a large enough number of people are unable to cope and retreat into strange fantasies and run around like demented idiots.  Or sit down and do nothing at all.

Look, he didn’t use this as an example, (unless my memory is worse than I think) but he could have: before the 20th century, the time that “how things are done” in every day life mostly involved a culture getting overpowered/destroyed by another culture, usually through losing a war.  And when that happened, even though it normally happened over some years, the wheels just came off.  As in late-stage soviet empire, the men became drunkards, the women became whores, and no one had babies.  (Oh, wait, if you make drunkards into drug addicts that takes care of most of Europe these days.)

Vae Victis seems to apply to a culture that is overpowered and forced to change so fast that something internal breaks.  You see it throughout history.

We’ll leave aside for the moment that we’re attempting to do this to ourselves via SJW invasion of the culture snatchers: devaluing everything that works in our culture and changing “who things our done” every day.  That honestly might be a symptom, an attempt to cope.

We’ll just go into how fast things change these days.

Look, just in the way things are done, on the “every day I do this” thirty years ago everyone who was anyone was tethered to a pager.  Now pagers are limited to very few professions and usually only at work. (Doctors, some chemists, probably — though I don’t know that — some construction sites.) If they don’t want you distracted by a cell phone, they’ll give you a pager.

Twenty years ago, being hip and with it, Dan and I had our weekends in strange cities down to a routine.  Find phone books, determine places to visit. Print mapquest from hotel. So easy, so convenient.  Stop laughing.

Nowadays we’re dinosaurs because we still use a GPS (being somewhat deaf, most cell phone GPSs are too quiet for me.)

Organizers, brilliantly spoofed by Terry Pratchett, came and went so fast my kids had no idea what he was talking about.

But what you have to remember is that what affects the texture of every day life also affects professions, ways to make money, ways to make a career, ways to establish yourself in the world.

Consider the man who was perfecting a new medium on which to imprint/sell songs, when everyone decided to just use digital files via the internet.

For that matter, one of the places I worked at they were working on developing entirely artificial (not derived from wood pulp) and cheap paper.  Thirty years ago it was a massive project.  Now… well… I don’t know.

The thought that originated this post was political.  But before that I’d been noddling with a few friends the idea of something called “Laid off Middle Aged Man Syndrome.”  Man because women usually don’t define themselves by their profession. Though now and here some do, and I should know because I realized I lost a year to the Syndrome, and have only recently — since realizing it — started fighting back.

I’m sure you’ve seen it, as I have.  Someone gets laid off, and even though they had gotten to the point that they hated their job, and they have abilities that allow them to make money, even if they had sort of kind of seen it coming, suddenly they seem incapable to cope.  You could say it’s depression, except most of the time it’s not.  It’s more like confusion, disorganization and inability to stick to anything, interspersed with several long periods of staring at the wall.

You might have seen people go through the same when their marriage breaks unexpectedly.

Some people in that situation do fall and can’t get up again. It’s easy to happen. You get so tired of not being able to pull up, you let yourself go.  You go under for the third time.

It’s puzzling because many times it’s patently obvious it’s not grief at the loss of the job, or the marriage, or whatever. And trying to treat it as though it were, trying to tell the person — or yourself. Trust me, I KNOW — to just let go, and that you lost no great thing, or to stop repining, will do exactly nothing, because that’s not the cause. So trying to treat that is kind of sideways and besides the point.

Sure, applying boot to bottom and forcing yourself to do some of these other projects (just write already!) works, to an extent, but only to the extent that antibiotics work on a virus.  They don’t, but they might prevent secondary infections.

Took me a while, and frankly examining people who weren’t me (as most people insist on not being, inexplicably) to understand what was at work was neither grief nor depression.

Instead it was a sort of uber- confusion.  We could call it future shock, but it’s more “loss of future shock.”

It’s not that these people have no future.  Often they are highly talented/trained professionals and even if their profession vanishes, they have other things they can do.

It’s that the future they subconsciously expected has been yanked away.  And that’s a shock.

Look, we humans are weird critters. Yes, I know we all live in the present. But we don’t. Without memories and anticipation/planning, most people are utterly lost.

Rapid technological and social change yanks that way.  Your profession or your family changing very quickly leaves you quite literally in shock.

And if you don’t identify what’s going on, you’re not going to react rationally to the change.  It stands to reason. If you can’t fully accept it and process it, it leaves you standing there going “What now?” Only all this is taking place at a subconscious level so you get the additional fun of not having any clue why your get up and go got up and went.

The funny thing is that this doesn’t affect only individuals.  It is the only explanation I’ve found for the utter insanity that is current publishing.  Publisher’s Weekly — variations on whistling past the graveyard — keeps telling them ebooks will go away really soon and engaging in lies, damn lies and statistics to prove it.  They can’t possibly believe it. They can’t. i know some of these people. Also they don’t really act as if they believe it. But they also don’t act as if they disbelieve it. That last would involve starting to cozy up to the more successful indie authors and presses and going “how do you do it?”

Instead, they’re in the fetal position, curled up under the table, with their hands over their ears.  Possibly rocking.

Why?

Well, because the future the entire industry expected, and what they saw coming is gone.  It’s never coming back. And what’s here is so completely different, they’re shocked.  Dazed, bewildered.

Victor Davis Hanson wrote on the next-level Trump derangement syndrome, which to be honest is much worse than Reagan derangement syndrome and Bush derangement syndrome (the last transforming someone who self identifies as a Christian Socialist into Bushhitler, so Trump derangement syndrome is a doozie.)

And while reading it suddenly everything fell into place, from how completely insane the “resistance” that resists nothing, and whom no one is trying to suppress is, to the people on the right (Pierre Delecto, we hardly knew you and I’m no longer sure that 2012 wasn’t the best possible outcome in the best of all possible worlds) who have lost their minds and think that one of the outright communists campaigning for the democrats is preferable to Trump, to the house trying to impeach a president for reasons to be discovered later, as soon as they find a good enough fishing hole, to–

Suddenly I realized all these people are suffering from a collective version of laid off middle aged man syndrome.

See, most of these people are my age or older. And when I was a kid we all knew what the future was: it was some form of central government. We were just fighting over how intrusive it would be.

Nixon, children, thought that wage and price controls were reasonable.

Sure, Reagan came along and upended all that nonsense.  Or most of it.

But the thing is our intelligentsia, our … culture manufacturers never believe it.  It was a fluke. It only worked because of luck, or exceptional agricultural years or it was the result of Jimmy Carter’s exceptionally hard work, or…

And they suppressed it, anyway. The prosperous 80s became the decade of greed. And sure, we could ditch all the socialism stuff, but then we were just greedy and soulless, and man, it was a good thing Gorbachev ended the cold war, or we’d have blown sky high.  (And no, I’m not joking. They convinced themselves of that.)

None of the presidents till Obama challenged that. George Bush (either) was truly indistinguishable from Clinton in most ways when it came to economics.

Obama challenged it because he was a true believer in the narrative that the intelligentsia had created to discredit Reagan.

He believed ALL THIS. He really, really, really believed all this.   He said he wanted to be the anti-Reagan. And he almost managed it, even if resurrecting the Soviet Union was really hard.  Jimmy Carter finally got his second (and third) term which all the left had been telling everyone would have been utopia.

And it stank. It stank on ice.  Their losing control of the media didn’t help, but I’m not even sure the media could ever have hid the stink. Even the WSJ jumped in on the Summer of Recovery canard, but it quickly became a joke on the street.

Then people elected Trump. Who did all the things the intelligentsia had been telling itself for decades don’t work, all the things that contradict their lovely theories.

And … they’re working.

They’re in shock. Someone moved their cheese. The future they envisioned is gone.  It might never come back (if we’re lucky.)

… and so they’re losing their minds.

Don’t let their insanity scare you or convince you they’re winning.  Sure, they’re doing a lot of things. That’s because they feel they must do something.  The fact that it’s all irrational is not lost on them and it’s driving them crazier.

Don’t you lose your head. Be not afraid.  Build under, build over, build around, because some things will eventually collapse.  But this is not the beginning of the end. This isn’t — even — the end of the beginning.

This is the day the Lord has made and it is glorious in His sight.

384 responses to “Beware Moving Cheese

  1. Émile Durkheim, founder* of modern sociology, coined the term anomie:

    “the condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals”. This evolves from conflict of belief systems and causes breakdown of social bonds between an individual and the community (both economic and primary socialization). … outlining the social (and not individual) causes of suicide, characterized by a rapid change of the standards or values of societies (often erroneously referred to as normlessness), and an associated feeling of alienation and purposelessness. He believed that anomie is common when the surrounding society has undergone significant changes in its economic fortunes, whether for better or for worse and, more generally, when there is a significant discrepancy between the ideological theories and values commonly professed and what was actually achievable in everyday life.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anomie

    to describe the breakdown of societal belief systems or, as we might say today, the conflict or collapse of Narratives that explain society.

    So the cheese it seems we’re missing is brie.

    *French sociologist, he formally established the academic discipline of sociology and—with W. E. B. Du Bois, Karl Marx and Max Weber—is commonly cited as the principal architect of modern social science. [Wiki] So you see what kind of intellectual company he kept.

    • To expand, smewhat:

      Anomie occurs when a society’s structures collapse, when the things that give lives meaning, that shape personal rewards, no longer apply. Like a middle-aged man whose career veered into a cul-de-sac, or a beautiful woman whose looks have collapsed (think: <I<Door Into Summer‘s Belle Darkin when we meet her in 2000. Success is no longer attainable by the old rules, the old ways of playing the game no longer work.

      Some people adapt, find new ways or getting their cheese or switch to other sustenance; others keep pressing that lever in vain hope that cheese will eventually come out. Confusion reigns and people panic. Some turn to the promise of Socialism and its benevolent State no matter what experience says (the same way that many doomsday cults become redoubled in their faith when the prophesied End doesn’t arrive on schedule.

      Still more people attempt to act as if everything is normal, that changes are minor and “the proper order” will restore itself. Others will scream at “heretics” and attempt to impose their own social order, to define by force of decree an acceptable social order (e.g., SJWs.)

      Some will turn to cults of various sorts, such as afflict the Middle East in its efforts to accommodate Modernity. And some (such as Putin and Erdoğan) will try to force their own status quo ante on society.

      The only way to succeed is to roll with the tide, to adapt, to maintain flexibility, to build under, around and over the wave until it recedes — then rebuild society according to sound principles. We are now in an era when First Principles matter more than ever, when social structures will undergo multiple changes in a lifetime. When the tsunami hits the only way to survive s to learn to swim … or to surf.

      • To expand, smewhat? Smewhat????

        O!

        SOmewhat.

        And obviously, that <I< preceding Door Into Summer ought have had its terminal angle bracket reversed: greater than, not lesser.

        I shall be going back to bed soon, as my fingers obviously failed to awaken when the rest of me arose. Arose by any other name would yet have thorns.

      • Socialism for the masses is just another cargo cult.

        • One might almost understand the appeal and current embracing of socialism if one considers it a poor and twisted attempt by individuals to revert to childhood. A sad desire for an all powerful mommy and daddy who will solve all your problems, fulfill every need, and make it all better. Only later does it become apparent to those left that the whole premise was based on lies and deception, rife with pyramid schemes and empty promises.

          • Looking at the college campuses full of students demanding socialism and the behavior of the various occupy camps, I contest the use of “revert”. I think “perpetuate childhood” is a more correct reading.

            This also applies to trust fund socialists, although maybe “extend childhood”, as in give their perpetual childhood state to others.

        • Except under socialism, the planes never come.

          The helicopters, tho…

        • And Le Resistance is a ghost dance.

      • “Some people adapt, find new ways or getting their cheese or switch to other sustenance; others keep pressing that lever in vain hope that cheese will eventually come out. Confusion reigns and people panic. ” … “Still more people attempt to act as if everything is normal, that changes are minor and “the proper order” will restore itself. ”

        Example that plays out in (fiction) where all electric, combustion gas laws change. Huge populations huddle in place until TPTB “fix it”; and die. Some do try to “fix it for everyone” by confiscating and sharing equally; and still die, if somewhat slower. Those whose gut is to bolt to “get out of Dodge”, get, defy confiscation, and survive. For the most part, the latter isn’t “selfish”, they share, beyond kin and “us”. They only share what they can afford (very little) and still survive. More they are of believe to share how to survive (“teach to fish” and bountiful) the new reality until if the old reality reasserts itself.

        • *vaguely trying to get it out before heading out…just as soon as the kids are finished… -.-*

          A lot of the time, changes ARE temporary, and normalcy WILL reassert itself. Can’t know ahead of time.

          But folks also watch for what is working– if what they’re doing doesn’t work, and they get enough proof that someone else is doing a thing that works, they’ll switch.

          What is “enough” depends on the specific person, and how they are at that point.

  2. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Amen Sister Sarah!

  3. I think it is worth noting that the rate of change seems to have accelerated.

    Smartphones, to take an example, have conquered the world in the last 10 years to the extent that the handful of people who don’t have one in the developed world are looked at as quaint eccentrics who are impeding progress.

    My father’s bank, for instance, can’t cope with the idea that he cannot receive a text message because he doesn’t have a cell phone (well technically he does, but he turns it off when he’s at home and probably hasn’t renewed the subscription for a year so it probably doesn’t work).

    The same applies in numerous other ways and it applies to more than the traditional developed world. Masses of people in the developing world are equally tied into smartphones for pretty much everything.

    The previous adoptions took longer, cell phones took about 20 years, the PC probably about the same. Before that the airplane (passenger variety) took about 50 years to reach universal accessibility, the car something similar, and so on.

    It seems to me that we may be testing the ability of the vast mass of humanity to adapt to radical changes in lifestyle

    • “that the handful of people who don’t have one in the developed world are looked at as quaint eccentrics who are impeding progress.”

      HEY! I resemble that remark!

      • When this phone dies I’m giving serious consideration to joining you.

        • I’d like to ditch mine, except I have to have it for work (rapid, discreet communication to office or nurse if there’s a problem.)

          • Used to be if you weren’t available – they had to rely on their own judgement or turn to the expert on call.

            I’m a whopping 10 years older than my co-workers. If a change in plant operations needs to be made, I make it. They call first to see if it’s OK. They don’t want to make decisions.

          • Work phone… lock it in your desk when you go home.

    • > text message

      He’s lucky. Most practices around here want you to use their “web portal” instead of phone or paper mail. And they expect you’ll listen to messages from some “unknown caller” from their robo-dialer system if they choose to use the phone instead. We’ve already had appointments canceled because nobody picked up on their “appointment verification” phone calls.

      “No, if I’m not going to make it, I’ll let *you* know if there’s a problem…”

      So far, though there has sometimes been considerable huffing and eye-rolling, I haven’t had to take my business elsewhere. But I see it happening in the future. That’s when I’ll beat them over the head with my A.D.A. club.

    • I had to replace my LG flip-phone because Obsolescence, but I got the dumbest smartphone around–and it’s still a flip-phone. Not quite as convenient as the old keypad layout, but it works. I tested the Bluetooth hookup in one vehicle (might work in another, have to check), but it’s not clear if the HondaLink telemetry app is compatible with the non-Apple, non-Android OS.

      OTOH, it does a good job at being a telephone.

      Our credit union would love us to go paperless. I *might* consider that if I can avoid on-line banking. Been there, done that, and the risks are greater than the rewards, IMHO.

      • > paperless

        Read any contract changes *carefully* before doing that.

        My old credit card issuer was pushing paperless. The contract changes said I would agree to keep that same email address *forever*, and it would become the only means for them to contact me, and it was irreversible, and a whole bunch of stuff that absolved them of any responsibility for anything, complaints to be arbitrated in New York.

        “…and the horse you rode in on.”

      • My bank is pushing for everyone to go to a palm scanner to be identified. Because showing my ID is soooo tough?

        • Our credit union is small enough that my account number is 4 digits, and 3 of the 4-5 people working at the branch today know me by name. (Advised one on bunion surgery, too.)

          There are bad things about small cities, but this isn’t one of them.

    • We found out not one took notes in college. They take pictures of the blackboard and then make the notes at home. So the professor gives time only to take pictures. Which is when my whole family went smart phone.

      I also meant to say Alvin Toffler had NO IDEA of how change really would affect things. He seemed to think of it as a sort of psychological issue because of how our daily life changed.But our jobs change, which changes our expectations, which makes any future investment uncertain, which….

      • I wish that’d been possible. The joke was professor (because TA’s weren’t quite this bad) would write it on the board, talking to the board, with the right hand, and erase it with the left.

        Slides were up, in the dark, long enough for the instructor to run through them (at least facing the room). IF you were lucky they handed out the slides at the end of class for reference.

        Or you were paying for lecture cliff notes. First time around I didn’t … couldn’t afford them (should have found a way).

      • Just about 4 months ago, did I get comfortable with my gamers taking notes with their phones. I would generally after the session; I would type up and post to facebook the special magic items. Now I tell them the page number and after the session let them snap a picture.

      • I will say that that wouldn’t work for me. My learning started to go way down as soon as the teachers started handing out paper copies of the notes. I needed to take notes; I would probably never look at them again, but the mere act of taking them forced me to listen closely to what the professor was saying, decide what was and wasn’t important, and trace down the important stuff physically. The printed notes didn’t do it for me, and I think blackboard photos would be even worse.

        Yeah, I know, and they can all get off my lawn…

        • Different methods for each. Me? Learned to listen to for the “glue” that put it all together. Added that to the printed notes. Others? Notes immediately put away. Some just listened. Some, like you, took their own notes. Cliff notes you got sometime after the end of the class (had to be printed for distribution; now emailed), but they insured you didn’t miss anything in your own notes. To be fair, the distribution of coarse materials as part of the class is really more of a seminar trend than a class trend … but what do I know? I haven’t taken a college class in over 30 years …

        • Same here. I learned it better by taking notes than just reading it. And I learned it better by reading it than by just listening to it.

          • This is clearly discriminatory against students whose learning style is reading/writing as opposed to auditory or visual.

            • Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

              Some men can learn by listening to others recounting their experiences. Some men can learn by reading the accounts of other’s experiences; And some won’t learn until they have pissed on the electric cattle fence for themselves.

    • on the other end of things at the moment.
      Got a decent smart phone, but it uses AT&T towers . . . aaand we have no Data this side the river. Typical fast ATT response times are involved.
      2+ days now and just now had a flicker showing they are working on things. We got phone service again, but still no data.
      I go home and my phone goes bonkers catching up (got signal at the house).

    • It is going to accelerate, and hard. Recall in only the last few years, space lift just broke the commercial cost barrier (Falcon Heavy) we’ve only just gotten the engineering done for Gate’s Gen 4 Nuclear reactor done, we are only just getting autonomous cars, and just a few days ago a research team just achieved Quantum Supremacy.

      We are looking at probable revolutions in energy, automation, and computing right around the time we’re finally able to build big in space. Each of those has the potential to turn the world on its head. All of those all at once? Better fill you index funds, because I don’t know who’s going to run rampant first, but it’s going to happen in our lifetimes, and it could be all of them…

    • Also, the fact that the developing world skipped steps, such as cell phones becoming the principle means of internet access in the third world because they went straight from print, often government controlled, to cell without a home computer revolution in between.

      • It’s a whole lot easier to charge up and run a smart phone from a small cheap solar panel than a laptop

    • Got an offer of a free ticket to the 49er game this Sunday. Minor detail, it needs to be sent to my cell phone…No way to get into the game without a cell phone…

      I have a cell phone, it is a flip phone, to call my wife and explain why I am late. I can call, but I never give out that number. I never use my phone while driving. I would kill myself and others blowing thru a red light. The “convenience” of cell phones and has killed thousands.

      I have my desk top computer. I then leave, and have a life. I have hard wired phones. If you want to call me, call them. If I am not there, leave a message. I will call you when it is convenient for me. Don’t be a slave to a device.

      • I was using my (newish) phone as a GPS and I received a text, which shutoff (or at least backgrounded) the GPS app. First time I ever looked at my phone while driving. (I mentioned it was new, right?) I needed to pull over to get the GPS working, again.

      • Missed the Trump rally in Mpls. a couple of weeks ago, mostly ‘cuz ticket needed smart[hone to get received.

    • While the rate of change may have accelerated, I think a good deal of the PERCEPTION of acceleration stems from a lack of understanding concerning past changes, and how profound they were. For example; how many people remarking on how smartphones have hanged their lives really grasp the changes represented by the telephone, radio, the automobile, and rural electrification?

      Just the automobile completely changed the face of society in a very short time.

      Or, how many really grasp how recently indoor toilets became almost universal?

  4. …people who weren’t me (as most people insist on not being, inexplicably)

    Well, I can’t be you. I am not Mormon, nor do I possess a great rack. I am, however, male.

    • Of course you have a great rack. Them there horns is a rack. And great it is, too.

    • Baby steps…

      I can fix the Mormon issue for you. If you want, a couple of young men (or possibly women) will come by and help out.

      For the great rack, you’re probably going to need to talk to an interior decorator.

        • Also this (well, yesterday now) morning was the first time I visited a Tractor Supply Co. store. Interesting, and I can see returning to it. But the purchase of the visit was a most mundane of acetone – a solvent of great utility, if (nowadays for me) infrequent use.

          • Acetone. Brings back memories of my dad and other folks at the shop where he worked using Acetone for cleaning a variety of machinery. One of the classic hazing tasks for a new employee was to send them to get some acetone to clean something or other. The hazing part was that they were sent with a styrofoam cup which will melt with exposure to acetone…

            • Styrofoam melted in acetone (or gasoline) makes a dandy incinisdiary. You can stuff about a truckload of styrofoam peanuts into a coffee can with some gasoline… the result is a tacky mass that laughs at fire extinguishers.

              Which is interesting, because plain styrofoam is considered “self-extinguishing” when the flame source is removed. There must be some chemical changes from the gasoline.

              • TRX I think what you’re making is a variant of Napalm. As for why it burns better my only guess is that the styrofoam is a a long chain polymer, harder to oxidize because of all the connections the material is already making. Add the solvent and it depolymerizes some and voila places to make new bonds with Oxygen.

      • I once had some of those.. visitors. They suggested an “experiement” that I recognized as a bit of (auto)suggestion. They did NOT like my idea of running a control for it.

        “Just pray to $DEITY for a week and see what happens.”

        That will ALWAYS have some result attributed. So I asked, well if there’s a real difference, you should no objection if I compare it to, say, praying to a tree stump or a lamp post for a week and check which is more effective. “No, that’d be evil!” They don’t want anyone to run the real experiment. That SCREAMS scammers to me.

        • That all (that I am aware of) major religions have the same limit tells me I really cannot trust them.

          • You know, speaking as a Christian, I would have told you, “Sure, go ahead and try that.” Because the Bible is full of examples where people had honest doubts about God, and he honored their doubts by giving them the evidence they had asked for (e.g., the story of Gideon). So I don’t think he’d be ticked off by your idea of a test.

            Granted, the Bible also contains several stories of people who should have known better doubting God, like Zechariah the priest, and being punished for it (in Zechariah’s case, by being rendered mute until his son was born, the one he doubted God could give him). The difference is that when you don’t know him, doubt is reasonable. When you’ve been serving him for fifty years, you should know him already, and then he gets a little irritated when you doubt that he can do something. But for someone who hasn’t really gotten to know him yet? I don’t see anywhere in the Bible where honest doubt is anything but rewarded.

            • The Book of Mormon has an explicit challenge along those lines. It’s found in the final chapter, and it reads – paraphrasing – “If you’ve read this book, and you’re genuinely wondering if it’s true, then pray about it. And you’ll get an answer.”

              Any LDS missionaries should be aware of that.

              • On the praying about the Book of Mormon thing, there was a talk I heard from George W. Pace (on tape) where he talks about his wife dealing with someone on that issue.

                (From memory)
                Young Hippie: “Yeah, I’ve heard about you Mormons and your Book of Mormon. Well, I read it and I prayed about it and I didn’t learn that it’s true.”
                Pace’s Wife: “What sort of a life were you living when you were reading the Book of Mormon?”
                YH: “What do you mean?”
                PW: “Were you living in fornication?”
                YH: “Yes. I was living in fornication. Every time I got the chance.”
                PW: “Young man, don’t you ever think that God will reveal his sacred truths to you when you’re living in flagrant violation of one of his most basic precepts.”

                Now, I don’t particularly buy that argument, but I thought it was noteworthy that she apparently came up with it on the fly and that it also apparently served, as the story was related anyway, as an effective “Mic drop.”

                • It really did help a lot when I took a really deep breath and repeated to myself “God loves stupid people too, God loves stupid people too.” It helps to keep me from judging God by His followers, many of whom aren’t someone I’d even trust to tell me how to do ordinary worldly tasks. It also helped me to find a place to love them, because if God can, what’s my excuse?

                  I like Pace’s Wife’s answer. It’s clever and funny. It’s not good doctrine, I’m sure. If by grace you’re saved through faith, and faith isn’t of yourself but is a gift from God, then it makes no sense to badger someone nor to presume on what God will lead them to at any given moment. The answer to the non-answer might well be to see if you want to try it again later sometime, but for now you read it and prayed and that’s enough.

                  Of course I’ve seen that approach go wrong and stupid too, where a pastor was too lazy to council people and just waved concerns off with how the spirit is in control, bla bla bla. Maybe the *spirit* was moving the concerned person to go to the pastor and ask for at *least* something like a simple “Hey, how has it been going for you?”

                  Ugh.

            • I heard a hilarious sendup of that conversation the other day, something like:

              Gabriel, hip up against the high altar during an offering of incense: “Yo! Zach!”
              Zechariah: “AAAAAAAH!”
              Gabriel: “Eh, chill. Here to tell ya something from the boss.”
              Zechariah: “Uh… OK?”
              Gabriel: “You’re going to be a daddy!”
              Zechariah: “Gabby, baby, what kind of evidence are you gonna give me for that?”
              Gabriel looks at himself, the altar, and then the priest: “That has got to be one of the dumbest questions I’ve ever heard. Shut up until it happens, that sign enough for you?”

        • I thought everyone here was already a Mormon (and white and male ect).
          Even us Southern Baptist.

          • I am NOT Mormon, nor white, nor male.

            I. Am. Wallaby.

            Oh, I wish I were a long-eared fuzzy wallaby,
            That is what I truly wish to be.
            For if I were a long-eared fuzzy wallaby,
            Everyone would want to cuddle me.

            But wishing ain’t being, so eat you hearts out, humans.

        • I’d be upset with the “pray to them and see what you get in a week” challenge in the first place. Seem to remember a guy demanding God turn stone to bread, not a good role-model.

          Now, a variant along the lines of “pray for a reason to believe” to each, I’d be fine with– although I’d also want you to be careful! (I have a meme that says “When people say they are spiritual, I’m all like: demons are spirits. Be more specific.”)

          • I admit, I was thinking of the LDS “if you aren’t sure whether to believe this, pray and you’ll get an answer,” but “see what happens” is definitely less specific.

            • … pray and you’ll get an answer

              I would be reluctant to try that, as I am certain “Go to Hell” is a possible answer …


              There’s a well of wisdom in Country music.

  5. “I’m sure you’ve seen it, as I have. Someone gets laid off, and even though they had gotten to the point that they hated their job, and they have abilities that allow them to make money, even if they had sort of kind of seen it coming, suddenly they seem incapable to cope. You could say it’s depression, except most of the time it’s not. It’s more like confusion, disorganization and inability to stick to anything, interspersed with several long periods of staring at the wall.”

    Been there, done that. Enduring it now in fact. My chosen field – web front-end programming – now all depends on a tool that inexplicably refuses to work for me: a program-from-hell called npm, Node Package Manager. No matter the setting, no matter the project, npm never works right for me. And the errors I get from it are errors that apparently no one else on earth has ever seen. Ask comrades for help, get nothing. Ask tech support for help, get nothing. Search the Internet, get nothing.

    I am, effectively, unemployable now because f***ing npm hates me. Can I do other things? Sure – but most of them are nothing that anyone would pay me a livable wage for, and the rest, no one will hire you without experience, and I have none.

    • Oh, you make the mistake of trying ask the right question. Post a wrong answer, and the whole damn world will start commenting.

    • Happened to me, also. Fortunately, I was just at the age when I could retire instead of fighting my through to a new job, so I retired.

      • Technically has happened to me 6 times. Two of the 6 are still in business. One of those has 10 to 25% pre spotted owl workforce, or less. Office decimation due to computer revolution and deployment of handheld computers in the field. 100% field decimation of personnel caused by spotted owl. Computer deployment in the field didn’t change the work, just changed the input medium (pencil vs keyboard). Last one I left, on my own terms, that was personnel conflict, although not directed at me (just scary as heck). Had I not been able to retire into safety, don’t know what I would have done, because I was kind of stuck there. Quitting without another job lined up, not an option. Job didn’t allow for keeping skills anywhere current within the job; and outside the job, only if I didn’t want a life with family. Age discrimination is a huge unofficially acknowledged thing in this career.

        • Age discrimination is a huge unofficially acknowledged thing

          I have been surprised that, with the population bulge of the boomer working contingent now well up there in age and subject to it, that there has not been any major legal kerfuffle regarding rampant and obvious age discrimination in hiring and retention across the major Silicon Valley employers, where the major money is. We get waves of sex discrimination/harassment news stories and lawsuits, but nothing re age.

          Back when I worked in cubeland and our building was pretty much surrounded by Google, we used to watch the vast hoards of shiny new grad Google employees surging back and forth to their free cafeterias, such herds only very occasionally sprinkled with older employees, what we used to call “adult supervision”.

          Age discrimination has been publicized from time to time at startups, but the major company practice of suddenly discovering expensive older employees jobs are no longer required, laying them off, then hiring H1b new grads to do that exact same work has not really been the subject of reporting or legal action.

          Maybe it just needs a hashtag.

          • “Age discrimination has been publicized from time to time at startups, but the major company practice of suddenly discovering expensive older employees jobs are no longer required, laying them off, then hiring H1b new grads to do that exact same work has not really been the subject of reporting or legal action.

            Maybe it just needs a hashtag.”

            Hard to prove.

            Unless the older employee is doing absolutely basic work, newly hired graduates are not going to replace them; ever. Thus the employer gets away with phasing out the older job, and creating multiple new ones. Rinse and Repeat.

            Regarding hiring practices. There are too many phrases that can be used. Even tho you know, absolutely, know, the reason you weren’t hired was due to age. “Over qualified”, my …

            Oh well. I’m out now. Left the last job, more or less, on my own terms (safety* vs phased out due to age). OTOH my BOSS was pushing 70, so that wasn’t a fear. Then the company sold. The one person after that, who could complain about being phased out due to age, again, didn’t have a leg to stand on. Not when one of the newest hires was over 50, and two other employees were his age, and not let go. All 3 are older than I am, and pushing 70, if not older (now).

            * Really don’t know what I would have done if we hadn’t been financially able to handle me retiring. At 59, looking for a new job, quitting first or not, would not have been optimal (see above, bad enough at 46). Since I wasn’t a direct target, probably could have ridden it out (as it turned out) … As it was, hubby was already retired; insurance was covered. We always knew I’d keep working after he retired, but never “defined” how much longer. When bad situation was starting to regularly blow up (it did get way worse before it got better), when we discussed it, hubby didn’t mince words “Quit.”

            • Unless the older employee is doing absolutely basic work, newly hired graduates are not going to replace them; ever.

              I hear you, and your point about replacement of actual capability makes perfect sense as demonstrable fact, but that only means it needs more HR papering-over when they do it anyway.

              I have seen it first hand, followed by exec talking points about why those of us who were layoff survivors should not believe our lying eyes on who they picked to zap. The funniest part was when the HR person brought in to sit in the corner freaked out when our VP started going off script and had to stop him, do a quick huddle in the hallway while we all sat around looking at each other, then they came back in so he could finish up back on script.

              I like to imagine in much of the rest of the country, outside of high tech, things are done more humanely, but in Silicon Valley the twin pillars of H1b slave labor and layoff-payroll-pruning are very well entrenched.

              • Yes. Original career wasn’t high tech. Second one was (1 of 5 companies still in business). I wrote software. But not in Silicon Valley (mini-silicon valley, yes).

                Next to the last one, as it was going through bankruptcy, department I was in avoided any cuts first 5 (?) rounds. Round I got cut, they had to cut, 10% no matter how understaffed. Technically that should have been any two of 10 of us. Realistically, it was the documentation tech writer, and that left another of four. The hardware embedded engineers were immediately off the list (the other 5). Of us remaining four: Kid, whose salary wouldn’t have been enough to make up the remaining amount of the 10%. Me. One who was just back from family leave from having triplets, only working parent, and had seniority over me (I mean how can I say “no, her”?) The fourth was on emergency family leave. I got the short stick.

                Ironically, one of the hardware engineer’s whose salary was way higher than mine, volunteered to be let *go. The person on family leave volunteered to be let *go. Both in place of me. PTB let them just quit instead. Both for personal reasons that had nothing to do with the job, but getting laid off (even voluntary) VS quitting meant the difference of getting unemployment or not. They would have bought me, maybe a year. But then I wouldn’t have been desperate enough apply to the add I did for my next job.

                I didn’t apply to jobs in paper without company name listed. Just PO Box. Got *desperate enough after 17 months, loss of all extended benefits, and saving draining, to apply to one. Turns out I’d already dropped off my resume because they were in the same building as a company I knew about and personally ran a resume to them. But I didn’t know that until I showed up for the first interview.

                * We lived to one salary. That was okay, until we switched to living off of mine, the higher one; more “stable” industry one. With unemployment, we could prevent dipping into savings, after getting bills cut as far as we could. Then hubby got transferred out of state, we now had two households to pay for; AND he was living in our, paid for, RV (moving, per husband, not an option, ultimately would have been a bad idea) … Please note. I whine about this time. BUT we were so better off than a lot of other people. When I say “savings drained”, we didn’t touch anything that trigger penalties, and we had maxed out those type of contributions, every year, even when he was the only one working (priorities). Between this, and kid’s college, we have nothing in tax free accounts … OTOH we’re both over 60, so full access to the tax free accounts … we’re not hurting.

            • Know the feeling … sigh. I gave up on doing anything but temping through an agency around about 2008. About the mid-fifties for me. Picked up an assortment of part-time employment, plus partnership in the Teeny Publishing Bidness, and writing my own books in the decade after that. I heard the ‘overqualified!’ mantra many times. Yeah, all it meant that they preferred hiring someone younger, dumber and more malleable. It helped that the military retirement covered the mortgage and some expenses.
              Once, I had counted on working full-time until the mortgage was paid off, and writing on the side, but life had other plans. Have to admit that I am enjoying semi-retirement, although the life-style is anything but lux.

  6. Completely OT and I haven’t even read the post yet…..

    This guy hasn’t been able to find anyone to take a bunch of books and is regretfully leaving them to the tender mercies of the next tenant. Maybe some of the people here will find them interesting enough for some more to be saved from their likely fate…

    http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=42322

    • books are becoming a liability. REAL paper books. We donated 4k of them when we moved. Why? Well… because most of them I was keeping in case I needed to do fast research for a short story.
      The others were fiction which I now have in ebook, which is easier on my aging eyes.

      • “The others were fiction which I now have in ebook, which is easier on my aging eyes.”

        #MeToo

        • Isn’t it weird? Older son and DIL LOVE and ask for paper. They have kindles but barely use them. I still do research on paper, just because my brain is wired that way, but man, it’s tiring to the eyes.

      • > becoming a liability

        Tell me about it… as we prepare to downsize to the new house, I’ve had to get rid of a bunch.

        The other day I asked a friend if he wanted any automotive service manuals. He was unwise enough to say “yes.”

        Which makes him the irrevocable recipient of twelve linear feet of paper manuals, a microfiche viewer, a stack of fiche, and a box of CD-ROMs…

        Somehow, I don’t think “joy” is going to be his main reaction when I open the shop door and start passing out heavy boxes…

    • it perfectly ties in with today’s post.

    • You might be pleased to know that I managed to save a good portion of the collection, with the help of a friend. Some of that stuff is OLD.

      Thanks for linking that here. I wouldn’t have known otherwise.

  7. being somewhat deaf, most cell phone GPSs are too quiet for me.

    My own hearing is flaky. Picking up soft sounds in a silent environment (like those “beeps” in typical hearing tests)? I’m great at that. Making sense of speech when there’s any significant amount of background noise? Forget it. The last several of my Ex’s cars had radios (I think they call them “entertainment centers” now) that were bluetooth capable so I could play the phone’s GPS directions through the car sound system. This took care of my hearing problems, at least for that purpose (and I could also run my music, audiobooks, or what have you through it as well so I didn’t have to keep trying to find a radio station that didn’t drive me mad…madder).

    My daily driver now, however, is somewhat older and doesn’t have that. So what I’ve got is a little FM transmitter that plugs into the car’s power port and connects to my phone via Bluetooth. The main issue there is finding an FM frequency that’s dead enough to not interfere. But, again, I get my phone’s output through the car’s stereo. The main reason is, again, to listen to my music playlists or audiobooks while driving, but a secondary is being able to get my GPS directions loud enough to hear even over traffic noise.

    • Fans, restaurant noises, wind, traffic, the goddamn-noisy-box, any significant background noise and the signal level effectively drops to zero.

      I have some *very expensive* hearing aids, configured with multiple sessions with an audiologist who tried hard, but mostly they just turn “wsshcrrsh” into “WSSHCRRSH.”

    • Does your car have an audio jack or cassette player input or any other non-FM input? The “hands free” options on amazon are darn inexpensive, and it bypasses the FM issue.

  8. *sings*

    Beware of moving cheese
    and promise un-pro-vie-diiiing
    the goal that’s always over there
    a motive may be hiding.

    So cut through the rumor, words and fear!
    Strike for hope and strike for cheer!
    In the end we’ll win it, please
    Beware the moving cheeeese!

  9. Sure, Reagan came along and upended all that nonsense. Or most of it.

    Funny you should mention that. I’ve been listening to Walter Williams’ All it Takes is Guts on Audible (collection of his old newspaper columns looks like), and he just got through lambasting Agricultural subsidies, “price supports”, the then PIK program (to pay folks not to farm on good farm land), and government “crop disaster” insurance that encouraged people to farm in questionable areas (while PIK encouraged them not to farm in good area), all with the effect of increasing food prices.

    Several essays were on the theme that the main difference between Democrats and Republicans was which Peter to rob to pay which Paul. And while I do think he was short-changing the amount difference between the two parties (and underlying philosophies) there was, and remains, a lot of truth to it.

    • Yes, when you look at all the supposed difference in ‘issues’ the parties sell the voters it becomes obvious none of them matter to really rich people.
      Health care? They look at doctors like you would a plumber. They will come to the house and attend you. It is a minor expense and they can fly to Japan or Germany and pay cash if there is a superior treatment to be had there. That includes abortion. Nobody judges the rich.
      Gay rights? How much harsh prejudice do you think Elton John experiences?
      Gun rights? They have armed guards to carry the icky things. A gun is for menials to use. (The same attitude some executives have about computers. Their SECRETARIES take care of that.)
      Taxes? You accounting and legal teams will lobby your congress critters and make sure you get a break.
      See a pattern?

    • and government “crop disaster” insurance that encouraged people to farm in questionable areas

      *farmer twitch*

      ALL areas are questionable, even when flood control is actually doing its job instead of “promoting environmental protection” or whatever.

      • ALL areas are questionable

        But not all “questionables” are created equal. Subsidizing higher risk areas while actively paying people not to farm in more productive areas is…insane is probably the kindest word.

        • Goodness, yes, I agree on the paying folks not to farm– but I’ve also seen folks go out of business even with crop insurance. (Although I suspect that it ends up being half “that stuff doesn’t grow here” and half basic corruption.)

          • Most of History: YOU. PAY. PEOPLE. TO. NOT. GROW. FOOD.?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

            How the $EXPLETIVES do you fools survive!?!?

            Also, can I come to your time and benefit from this insane scam? PLEASE!

            • The modern version I’m familiar with, they’re actually paying the difference between growing Product A (which we need, but isn’t a really high return) and Product B (which is the current really high ROE).

              There have been several “let the area lay fallow for a year or two” variations, and of course there’s the whole nature conservacy scam where you basically sell the agricultural and development rights for the land, but keep the land.

            • Poking around, it appears that there’s also some crop rotation programs, and water quality ones.

              I do know that a lot of the programs get scammed, hard-core; it’s a favorite supplemental income for the trustfund babies I grew up around.

  10. Several things –
    First – I am profoundly hard of hearing. I use GPS and a map program, but not the spoken directions. After watching several other people use them I decided they are dangerous because the people stop DRIVING when it talks to them.
    Secondly – Text programs on phones have largely replaced the special TTY terminals – some of which were the size of a desk. Nobody wants or buys them but Large companies and governments in the form of agencies and police refuse to drop the obsolete tech and love to pretend they are actually serving the disabled. This is a major defect of rapid progress. Nobody will kill the legacy systems.
    Some sellers on eBay won’t accept you bid for high value items unless you take their call on a VOICE phone. They apparently live in a cave with no text.
    Now – Be prepared to squirm and get angry with me Dear, but I think you missed something because you lean right.
    Among the derangement syndromes we should list Obama derangement too. There were plenty of extreme rightists who went completely ape shit nuts over him. This is because POLITICAL PARTIES are another thing that no longer works.
    Like monster TTYs they are an obsolete system nobody will allow to die. They are an 8 track in the new mid-engine corvette of life and need to DIE DIE DIE.

    • I am profoundly hard of hearing. I use GPS and a map program, but not the spoken directions. After watching several other people use them I decided they are dangerous because the people stop DRIVING when it talks to them.

      I will agree with you on this one. I always look through the map and do my best to memorize the necessary turns but keep a copy nearby for when things inevitably go belly-up. I never turn on the voice navigation.

      One other thing I’ve noted about it is that it becomes profoundly stressful when the voice navigation fails for some reason. When there are multiple roads close together, the GPS can get confused about which one you’re on and start randomly recalculating multiple times. Or when you get to the street address of the place you want, but the parking lot isn’t obvious. When that happens, I’ve seen drivers become hysterical and start hyperventilating. It’s almost impossible to handle when you’re dependent on something to tell you which way to go, and “something” suddenly fails.

      This is because POLITICAL PARTIES are another thing that no longer works. Like monster TTYs they are an obsolete system nobody will allow to die. They are an 8 track in the new mid-engine corvette of life and need to DIE DIE DIE.

      And be replaced with what? Would the U.S. really be better served with a giant jungle election where everyone from Robert Francis to Pierre Delecto is running in a massive election destined to be sorted out by the House of Representatives? California already does something sort-of similar with their elections, and its resulted in elections where the choice is between the far Left and the extreme Left. Other places would get different results, I have no doubt, but I’m also extremely skeptical it would result in good, sober candidates accepted by the vast majority of the populace.

      The party system is far from ideal, but as far as I can tell, it’s one of the best ways for people of broadly similar beliefs to come together and hammer out their platform. As Churchill would say, political parties are the worst except for all the alternatives.

      • > And be replaced with what?

        I’m open to proposals.

        The Parties aren’t part of the Constitutional structure. I’m sure there are better options if we can get their jackboots off our necks.

        • Timothy E. Harris

          So long as we have some freedom of association in this country, we will have political parties. Just like black markets spring up where legal trade is prevented, people with similar obsessions about what Government should do (or refrain from doing) will get together to push their agendas whatever you try.

          Political parties would work better if the Government refused to fund them. Accepting the Government rules as quid pro quo for primary elections to be paid for has greatly diluted the ability of parties to choose their own candidates.

          • I don’t have any problem with freedom of association. What I’m against is regulatory capture.

            For example, you can’t get on a ballot in my state unless you’re sponsored by a “recognized political party.” Who have *no* legal standing whatsoever, other than getting the legislature to pass a law saying I only get to vote for people they support.

            How to you get to be a “recognized political party”?

            “You’re so cute when you look like that…”

        • Our system, for the most part, limits the number of effective parties to TWO. No need to form coalitions or anything.

          The one thing I do like about NY State’s election system is that they allow cross-endorsement – a candidate can be on more than one ballot. The governor’s election every 4 years determines which parties get a permanent ballot line. 50,000 votes for a gubernatorial candidate is needed to get an automatic ballot line for all elections up to the next gubernatorial election. The Liberal Party lost it’s line a few years back; the more socialist Working Families Party – which consists mostly of what we would call “Non-traditional” families and people who don’t work – has pretty much taken their place and has a line. The following parties have an automatic line:
          Democratic Andrew Cuomo 3,158,459 54.53
          Republican Marcus Molinaro 1,824,581 31.50
          Conservative Marcus Molinaro 238,578 4.12
          Working Families Andrew Cuomo 106,008 1.83
          Green Howie Hawkins 95,716 1.65
          Libertarian Larry Sharpe 90,816 1.57
          Independence Andrew Cuomo 63,518 1.10
          SAM Stephanie Miner 51,367 .89
          SAM is Serve America Movement.

          In swing districts third party endorsements carry a lot of weight. Even in a lot of probably safe Republican districts, failure to receive a Conservative party endorsement can lead to a loss.

          In some states, cross-party endorsements are forbidden. IIRC, WV (and some others) have a “sore loser” law in effect, where if you run in one parties primary and lose, you cannot run in the general election on another party ticket or as an independent.

          In local elections, a minor party candidate can win. In one local election near me a few years ago there was a major political upset – a write in candidate won the mayoral vote in a small rural town. That’s when you really know people are upset with the status quo.

      • “And be replaced with what? Would the U.S. really be better served with a giant jungle election where everyone from Robert Francis to Pierre Delecto is running in a massive election destined to be sorted out by the House of Representatives?”

        Papua New Guinea has no party structure to speak of, and no primary system. So, each election sees about 100- 200 candidates running for pretty much every seat. Which means that one can get elected with about 5% or less of the vote.
        This is not a good thing for the country. Most politicians there get what they can while they can, because they’ll probably be gone when the next election comes.

    • “Among the derangement syndromes we should list Obama derangement too. There were plenty of extreme rightists who went completely ape shit nuts over him.”

      From my memory of the 8 years, mostly what we did was point at what he was actually -doing- and say “this will not end well.” And before long, we’d be proven right. Then the next thing would come along, and we’d say it again. Obama is the reason Trump got elected. In fact he’s the reason Trump ran in the first place.

      Y’all Americans will be cleaning up Obama’s wreckage for 20 years. They may have to completely disband the FBI because of what he did.

      • It wasn’t just Obama. The FBI has *always* been dirty, from mass arrests to vanishing people off to secret prison camps in the 1930s. They’ve been America’s Cheka for their entire existence.

      • There were MANY times I said nothing in the Obama years as it would have been all too easy of accusing him being both an evil calculating geniusratfink AND utter and complete imbecile – and those really should not be simultaneously true.

        • As universal recognition of Wile E Coyote’s travails demonstrates, the two qualities often appear simultaneously. Being an evil calculating genius does not imply any grasp of reality; quite the opposite, in fact, as the refusal of Reality to fit itself to the genius’ schemes often stokes the fires of genius to greater heights … although not greater conformation to Reality.

          Obama was constantly producing the most nutritious dog food without ever considering the meaning of the dogs’ unwillingness to eat it. He was genius in one area and imbecilic in another, like a person tying his shoes with elaborate ornate decorative knots and failing to realize he was tying the shoes together.

          • Aye, but it would be all too easily mistaken for error by the professional oversimplifiers and liars.

          • Huh? The Coyote wasn’t evil. He was just hungry. And rather industrious about trying to fix that.

            I always rooted for the Coyote, not that smart-assed bird.

            • The problem is that Wile E. lives in an Objective Reality – a painted wall remains a wall. But Roadrunner lives in a Subjective Reality – if it looks like a tunnel, it IS a tunnel.

            • Not evil??? Are you kidding? Have you given never a thought to the environmental impact of his schemes?

              Do you for one moment believe he held proper certification for all those rockets he fired up in the fragile desert ecology? Was the FAA ever notified of his planned launches? I. Don’t. Think. So. Clearly he’s never taken a class in proper use of explosive devices, much less applied for and received a permit from the Federal Explosives Licensing Center.

              • Although his painting of train tunnels was so real you’d think you saw actual trains coming out of them :-).

      • There was little Obama Derangement syndrome. The Right didn’t hate him at first, they just disagreed with him. After they got to know him, some started to hate him for what he DID, not for what he WAS.

        The Derangement Syndrome is irrational hate. It doesn’t mater what the person does, the hate is absolute. We first saw it with Bush and now with Trump. Total irrational hate.

        When people started to hate Obama it was NOT irrational, it was VERY rational. It was because of what he had DONE.

        Only Progressives have shown the total irrational hate required for a Derangement Syndrome.

    • Among the derangement syndromes we should list Obama derangement too. There were plenty of extreme rightists who went completely ape shit nuts over him. This is because POLITICAL PARTIES are another thing that no longer works.

      And not just Obama — on the right of center forum I moderate, the moderators commiserate about the number of people whom Trump just … broke. Everything is categorized by its helpfulness to Trump, with some willing to deny the sky is blue if Trump says so and others willing to deny the sky is blue if David French or Nancy Pelosi says so (because agreeing with Trump’s enemies can never be right!). So bloody exhausting.

      • The problem with agreeing with Trump’s enemies about one thing is that his enemies then automatically assume you agree with them about everything.

        It ain’t necessarily so.

        • Fully granted. But I have to deal with people who say, “Well, you agreed with Pelosi that the sky was blue, so I can dismiss everything you say, you traitor.”
          One of the worst malefactors is also suffering from laid off middle age man syndrome, who channels his frustration and confusion by being a complete jerk to everyone who isn’t 110% on his side.

          • It can be hard to deal with guys like that. This is one of the reasons I stay off hotrod forums and similar, the political screeching on a HOBBY forum, its exhausting. For, against, I don’t care. I want to talk about cars.

            • NASCAR gave up on conservatives, didn’t they? Or have I got that backasswards?

              • NASCAR, NFL, NBA, Sprots Illustrated, ESPN, the list of Guy Stuff organizations that have “given up” on Conservatives is long.

                And they’re all suffering the “roll Left and die” results.

                • The roll left thing comes from an evolution of the Dilbert Principle.
                  Instead of promoting the incompetent from the workforce into management to get them out of the way of the productive, companies began to hire the incompetent right out of college. That way managers could be utterly free of any hint of knowing what the company does or who it’s market is.

              • Not so much “given up” as “converged to the point where they can give their former user base the finger.”

                Next year they’ll probably go to electric minivans. More room for advertising, you know…

                • OT and the result of it being way too early and my being insufficiently caffeinated: Electric Miniyan is a great name for a Jewish rock band.

                  • Would Electric Minyan play Heavy Metal Klezmer perhaps?

                    • I can see it happening. Really with today’s world not so far out there . . . there is a guy: “I play in a world famous metal band that has sold 19 million CDs”
                      oh, what instrument?
                      “Uilleann pipes and baroque flute”

                      So, why not.
                      Let’s hear it for Avi on lead Cimbalom!

            • I used to spend a fair amount of time on places like SpeedTalk.

              The political subfora were interesting. “You *do* understand that the politicans you are shilling for have promised to ban internal combustion engines, right?”

              Well, no, apparently that just slid off the Teflon protecting their gray matter…

              • “…apparently that just slid off the Teflon protecting their gray matter…”

                Because none of them were there to talk about cars. They wanted to Spread The Holy Word to the heathen. People like that drive Smart Cars. That’s why I torture Smart Cars on the highway. >:D

          • Granted, if she says the sky is blue, it might be a good time to point a few spectrophotometers skyward. You know, just to be sure.

            • I’d look, sure, but I’m the kind of person who, when a stranger came up to the door and informed us that our son was on the roof, we looked over at the crib.

              Just in case. Not like it cost more than a glance.

              It’s when they start demanding that you disbelieve things that you already checked, that take a lot of time and effort, just because someone else says them that I get to eyeballing the demander, instead.

        • But so do his sycophants.
          (the ones where it should be written “psycho-pants. On head.”)

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      There were rightwingers who initially bought the ‘o so smart and educated’ messaging about Obama. It was never shown that he had mathematical intelligence or education of a higher level than innumerate.

      Being President without mathematics is like being a doctor treating alcoholics without a clue that there is any usable tool other than a blowtorch. By that I refer to the treatment of alcoholism by applying a blowtorch until the patient is no longer an alcoholic.

      Obama was a special kind of insane or evil that he was able to persuade some people was sane and well intentioned.

      The world would have been better off if corrupt cops had murdered him in his late teens. (Which is not to say that cops should do such things. Cops are not prophets, and should mind the state of their own souls. And it is our fault for letting Obama be in a position to cause such harm. The society that keeps such from positions of trust and responsibility is better than a society that murders such because it doesn’t have that ability to make those sort live safely.)

      It may be that I’ve been living under a rock, but I’ve seen few conservative cases against Obama that were unreasonable, and very few conservatives whose dislike for Obama can really be said to have made them deranged. And before you try to cite me as an example, my views on mental health, substance abuse, and the stoners were fairly set before Obama.

      • Obama was, and is, a “community organizer”. That’s his profession, not college professor of Constitutional Law, not politician. And a community organizer trained in the school of Saul Alinsky; which basically means he uses groups of people as a tool of ‘legal’ extortion. e.g. threatening to invade O’Hare with thousands of unemployed people to disrupt the center unless they “donate” large sums of money to certain organizations (which he then gets a kickback from.)

        • In other words your typical shady grifting ambulance chasing lawyer.

          • Yeah, except for the typical part. Typical ones don’t usually bamboozle their way into the Oval Orifice. I suppose you can call that Obama’s claim to fame; it’s not like he managed to accomplish anything else of value to the nation.

            • Back before the first O’lection, I found copies of documents from the New Party detailing how that’s where O got his real political start. [Was unable to find copies online last time I wanted to link ’em; someday will have to root ’em off old hard drive and throw ’em back to the archival winds.] The New Party was basically a bunch of radical socialists. They used Minnesota as a test case: Can we take over a conservative state’s politics? (A: yes.)

            • Consider how much money you could make if you had a President who was effectively your employee. Things you could have done, things you would know about ahead of time. An incumbent President has influence over hundreds of billions of dollars.

              If you were a forward-thinking type, you could shape some people who might hold that office some day. Grease their way into a fancy school, political positions, nominations… your very own Manchurian Candidate. And it would not only be cheap, most of it would be tax-deductible. Such a deal!

              Look at Barack Hussein Obama’s life, and it’s hard not to get the idea that it was shaped that way. Lucky break after lucky break; Kennedy or Bush level sponsorship.

              Simple chance? Maybe. Even the most unlikely things *are* possible.

              But something to consider: Obama popped up basically out of nowhere, quite late in the primary scrum. And then he Hulk-smashed some major Party stalwarts at the DNC. And then the political/media complex gave him more support than I can remember any candidate ever getting from either party, not just during the election, but through both terms.

              Right now, the Democratic candidates are a bunch of worn-out old flacks with dementia. If some new candidate swans in from obscurity to maximum support, and he or she has the kind of inexplicable silver-spoon background Obama has, it would be interesting.

        • Obama may have been a “community organizer” — but he wasn’t any good at it. People living that close to The Street are not so gullible as are journalists, nor so readily played by narrative.

          • Except that “community organizing” isn’t about organizing anything. It’s about organizing disruption to get the attention of whoever is in authority and then the people in authority are supposed to solve the problems.

            That’s why when Obama had BLM to the White House he never thought at all to say “Okay, you got my attention so now I’m going to solve your problem.”

            No, he said, “Keep up the good work.”

            It’s always someone else who’s supposed to solve the problem. The community organizer just makes sure that everyone knows there is a problem. They don’t have to actually fix anything.

          • “Community organizer” isn’t a real job. It’s just a way to funnel money to Party functionaries.

            There was a race-baiter in Little Rock who claimed the title of “community organizer” for a while. The newspapers loved him. He spouted the usual “whitey keepin’ da black man down!” schtick.

            Eventually he decided that burning an American flag on the state capitol lawn would further his cause and issued a press release about it. When The Day came, he arrived with some sycophants and found the lawn already occupied by a bunch of gnarly old veterans and random citizens, not all of them white, but all of them ready to rumble. McIntosh made an impromptu speech nobody bothered to listen to, then abruptly vanished from the news, never to be heard from again…

        • Isn’t an “organized community” just a pretty name for a “lynch mob” or such?

      • Obama presented as college professor, and for a certain type of intellect deference was therefore reflexive.

        To my mind the real presidential derangement on the Right occurred during the Clinton Administration, although he (and she) provided so much stench that it became easy to believe Vince Foster had been murdered and a trail of dead bodies followed them across Arkansas. Obama seemed to deliberately provoke the derangement, such as hiding records of his academic career and his birth. Such goading allowed his supporters to dismiss all critics under cover of the deranged ones.

        • “hiding records of his academic career and his birth”

          Yes. Provoking an unattractive response (who else have we seen do that, hmmm? I think it’s pretty funny!)

        • Well, given what finally did come out about the Vince Foster suicide, it doesn’t make her look that much better.

          But, it is always wise to remember that the truth is likely far less lurid and probably more disgusting than what plays in the media.

        • Foster was murdered. Can’t prove it, but the majority of circumstantial evidence points to it. And nobody in that Administration who knew him believes he would commit suicide for any reason; he’d have stood up and taken his lumps if they had any damaging goods on him. But he also would have spoken up about any unethical activities and people he was involved in. The probable truth was Foster was going to come clean about the frame job on the Dales over Travelgate, and Clinton had him killed and “a torn up suicide note” planted to lead investigators astray. Which is why he is no longer among the living.

          For what it’s worth, I’d met Billy Dale, and his wife was my employee for 2 years during my tour at Andrews.

      • “I have a piece of paper that say I’m smart, so you better accept that.”

        And at the end of The Wizard of Oz movie, so did the Scarecrow. But the line he used? Gee, that’s NOT the mathematical case. Line uses “isosceles” as it sounds fancier or such than ‘right’… but it’s wrong. (Granted, the Scarecrow did have the ideas, and even with supposedly no brain, would be a vast improvement over all too many.)

      • Obama’s supporters claiming EVERY disagreement on rational grounds of being bad policy was ‘racist’ did more to destroy the concept of racism than affirmative action could even begin to contemplate the possibility of dreaming about.

    • > This is because POLITICAL PARTIES are another thing that no longer works.

      riteturn wins ONE INTERNET.

      We’ve talked all around the subject for years, but I think you just nailed the root problem.

      • I don’t know that this is entirely true. I suspect a major part of the current problem with political parties in America (besides corruption) is that the heightened level of partisanship is keeping the Sixth Party System in place and preventing the evolution of a Seventh Party System.

      • The problem is I’ve dealt with so many political parties it’s the same as not having them. The communists win. No, seriously.

        • Was listening to James Monroe’s biography on Audible not long ago. During his first term in office the Federalist party, which I believe was dealt a death blow by Hamilton during Adams’ presidency, finally withered away. That left only the Democratic-Republicans. Essentially, parties were gone.

          The factionalism and infighting didn’t get better with the elimination of party politics. It just became more personal and in many ways more vicious (which, considering how vicious the Adams-Jefferson campaign was is saying something). Eventually, individual groups coalesced into competing camps with one branch being the Jacksonian Democrats and the other forming the Whigs.

          I’ve largely come to the conclusion that the elimination of party is really one of those ivory-tower ideas that just doesn’t work in the real world.

          • It took another decade or more until the Federalists finally went away – and not without Democratic-Republican partisans launching physical attacks upon Federalists. In the case of the attack on offices of The Federal Republican on July 27, 1812, they used cannon in support of their mob of brutal thugs. After the victims were placed into protective custody in the Baltimore jail, the mob stormed the jail and continued their attacks. At least one Federalist died, and many more, including Light-Horse Harry Lee (friend of George Washington, father of the future rebel), suffered severe injuries.

          • If one were to conclude from the fact that the Dems are the sole party in any power whatsoever here in the Glorious Peoples Bear Flag Socialist Anti-Heternormative Republic that there is no infighting in California politics, one could not be more wrong.

            In-party battles are always the most vicious.

    • No. I hated Obama and he terrified me because of what he did. You see, I’d seen THAT movie before.

    • I didn’t hate Obama. That’s too personal a feeling. I despised him because of what he stood for. Unlike our esteemed hostess, I didn’t live through any of that but I did understand history and where what he was pointing at lead. The world had been down that road many a time. And Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom” has been prophetic many a time.

      Obama didn’t get anywhere near the kicking around he deserved. In a just world the socialism he espoused would be even more reviled than Fascism and Naziism–because they doubled down on everything bad the Fascists and Nazis did

      To us, Hitler was a monster.
      To Lenin and Stalin, he was an amateur.
      To Mao he was oh so adorable.

      That’s what Obama wanted to bring to this country.

      • Thank the good Lord that BHO was so incredibly inept at his task.
        And now there is a faction on the Democratic side that is clamoring for Michelle to step up and run so as to give Barack a third and potentially a fourth term in office.
        Will note that at least half of the good works done by Trump were in the main the cancellation of rules and regulations put in place by Obama or his minions.

        • Calls for a White Knight to step in at the last second are nothing new- there were lotsa Dems hoping that Teddy would enter sometime in ’72.
          One thing about Barry is that like a dog who caught the car he was chasing, he had no idea of what to do with the Presidency once he got it, and just went off to play golf instead.
          Michelle, like Chelsea Clinton, doesn’t seem to have that all-encompassing need to be THE CENTER OF ATTENTION DAMMIT!!! that drives Bill or Hillary.

          • Unfortunately, 0bama took far too much time off from playing golf, and spent it playing President. We’d be much better off if he’d just stayed on the golf course.
            ———————————
            “Just think how stupid the average person is, and then remember that half of them are even stupider than that.” — George Carlin

      • Agreed – Hate entails a level of emotional commitment Obama could never generate. Loath, contempt, or perhaps despise, as one does cockroaches, more accurately describes my feelings toward him.

      • To us, Hitler was a monster.
        To Lenin and Stalin, he was an amateur.
        To Mao he was oh so adorable.

        *SNARF!*

    • Although I understand your frustration with political parties, they occur organically, like a city at the mouth of a river. They’re there because the situation kind of demands it. There are risks and some negative consequences with their existence, but they’ll show up anyway.

    • “Some sellers on eBay won’t accept you bid for high value items unless you take their call on a VOICE phone. They apparently live in a cave with no text.”

      That’s probably because of all the fraud coming from certain parts of the world — it’s a fair assumption that if they call to confirm and the high bidder proves to have an African, Middle Eastern, or eastern Euro accent, that bidder’s payment can be assumed bogus right up front, saving lots of hassle with Paypal.

      Also, some of the high-dollar items are themselves fraudulent, being used to launder money, so the ‘seller’ probably wants to ensure the high bidder is the intended payer.

  11. “Suddenly I realized all these people are suffering from a collective version of laid off middle aged man syndrome.”

    You want to see some collective insanity and horses going back to the barn that burnt down, just take a look at the Canadian election. I put it down to me being a mutant, but your explanation makes more sense.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Come on, has your brain actually degraded? You just wrote your twelve months of legal weed, no problems victory lap post.

      Okay, I would’ve thought that it would take voters starting from scratch more than twelve months of use to get that stupid, but it should be at least a plausible alternative hypothesis.

      Your previous government wanted it for a reason, and has shown the ability to suppress information in other contexts. Why can’t it have been for this reason, and be suppressing information in this context?

      If I’m not wrong here, you might not be fixing your election results without killing or disenfranchising a chunk of your voters. Which might mean that your government won’t be fixed, and the situation will fester along the northern border as well.

      So, I’ve thrown out some falsifiable predictions. The future may show that I am not correct. Whether the evidence is clear enough to persuade me is another matter.

      • What makes me a mutant (IMHO) is that I look at something like weed being made legal, and I think about what will happen. After some research I decided -nothing- would happen, and lo it has come to pass. Nothing happened. Despite the braying of doomsayers, who seem to be the norm.

        The election, I looked at the five years of Liberal rule under the Shiny Pony, and concluded that if this keeps up the Canadian dollar will be worth the same as a Mexican peso. My views are not wildly out of step with the financial establishment, Husky Oil laid off hundreds of employees the day after the election. Plus Shiny Pony himself has been revealed as an entitled, pretty-boy jackass who breaks all the SJW rules. #metoo, #brownface, #you name it he’s done it. Logically, reasonably, he should be OUT of power and out of the Liberal Party. He should be selling pencils on Sparks Street today.

        But me being a mutant, I’m deeply in the minority here. I’m looking ahead to the looming rocks with the big fat lighthouse on top. No one else is doing that. They’re not like me. They’ll cheerfully sail right into the fucking lighthouse at full throttle. Pedal to the metal.

        But Sarah’s explanation also makes sense. They’re in shock. They can’t let go of the dream.

        But we are still steaming for the lighthouse, so it doesn’t help me all that much.

        • I think they’re also in shock because they’ve learned that opposition to what they’re peddling isn’t limited to a few old folks and a small scattering of rural hayseeds. Although some seem to be in denial.

          • It could also be simple surprise that there is a world outside the 905 area code, and the people who live in that world have an opinion about how the country should go.

            We’ve been telling the joke that Torontonians think the world ends at the 427 on one side and the Beaches on the other since 1960s. The whole rest of Southern Ontario voted CPC pretty much, its a sea of blue out here. Maybe the odd dot of red or orange here and there.

            • Had someone I know in BC gloating about the Red Robin’s in Alberta closing (after sneering that they should succeed night of the election). Maybe when the expectation is continued expatriation and unemployment places close.

              • They were gloating that a burger chain decides it is leaving the province, the day after a federal election? Is that person crazy?

                • They were gloating that a burger chain decides announces it is leaving the province, the day after a federal election?

                  Minor correction, as such decisions are certainly not reached overnight. Corporate managements only wish they were so nimble.

                  • Husky Oil made their decision based on the election. They might have held on, had the CPC gotten in. Announced hundreds of layoffs on the knowledge that things in the Oil Patch are going to get worse the next five years.

                    Red Robin might have been doing the same, hanging fire to see if the business environment was going to improve. Five working restaurants is a large investment to abandon, their numbers must have been projecting -doom- if the Liberals got back in.

                    • In both cases their decision had been made, they were just waiting t see which way the coin came up.

                    • Yes, I think so. Big companies are slow, like you said. Election was the last nail in the coffin.

                    • Thinking mostly that Alberta money was gonna dry up faster than a texas puddle. Possibly even the sort of retaliation that red states saw under da won was expected.

                • It’s another way to show those hicks their place.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Pot apparently fucks some with risk assessment, long term judgement, stuff like that.

          In theory there a group of Canadian voters who would have otherwise dealt with a gnawing realization that something was wrong, but instead was too impaired to notice, and stayed with their default political position. In practice… Might be fatigue speaking, but I’m no longer panicking over the RL thing I was this morning. This morning I was in error, legal pot flat out does not make sense as having swung that election. I may think you are more generally wrong, but I had no justification in speaking to you so strongly. I apologize. I was mistaken.

          • As I recall Mark Steyn’s assessment of the candidates the weekend before the election, there was no conservative option; the choices ranged from left of center to lefter of center to farther left to farthest left.

            “John Robson argues that all five candidates are running against proposals that no one’s proposing because deep down inside they know that lurking somewhere out there is not a mythical right-wing Bigfoot but mere prosaic Reality, which sooner or later will assert itself.”

            • Post-election analysis from the Marked one:

              ~According to the deranged dominion’s useless and government-subsidized media, Canadians’ priorities in this election were climate change and indigenous reconciliation, and the breakout star of the campaign was NDP leader Jagmeet Singh.

              Back in the real world, Mr Singh’s party lost over a third of its seats, and twenty per cent of its vote, and is no longer the third biggest caucus in the House of Commons. And, whatever voters may tell pollsters about global climate concerns and indigenous reconciliation, the real consequences of the last four years are a resurgent Québécois nationalism and Albertan alienation. Both are testament to what Justin’s “sunny ways” boil down to in practice.

              [SNIP]

              … conservatives are told: tough, suck it up; evasion and equivocation and the reduction of the party to a great wobbling vanilla blancmange are necessary conditions for victory.

              [SNIP]

              As for the consolations of a very narrow “popular vote” victory, aside from its irrelevance in parliamentary systems, the fact is that two-thirds of Canadian ballots went to left-wing parties. … Lefties, alas, have no shortage of alternative places to park their votes; conservatives had a choice between Scheer’s supposedly electable vapidity and an electorally insignificant populist party excluded from most debates and damned as racist.

              ~What’s the upshot of that? If you thought the last four years of progressive virtue-signaling was nuts, get ready for worse: Trudeau will survive in the Commons only by pandering to lefties who take climate fanaticism and aboriginal land acknowledgments far more seriously than the blackface narcissus does.

              The principal victim of that, in this ministry as in the last, will be Alberta. Climate alarmism is a poseur accessory in most of Canada, but in the oil patch it has had real and devastating costs. Entirely shut out from the corridors of power, where bills will pass only with the consent of Dippers and/or Bloquistes, western alienation will increase – and Albertans will demand more than the insipid bromides of Scheerism.

            • Steyn has it exactly. We have Left, Lefter, really Left and Fire Engine Red to the Left of Stalin Left. And Bernier, who was only a teensy bit Left.

              Like I said here the other day, we had the choice of voting for War, Pestilence, Famine or Death.

          • No worries. It didn’t come across harsh.

            It may interest you to know that recreational sales nationwide are -terrible- and overall cannabis use is too small to notice. Even granting major impairment in every casual user for the sake of argument, there are not enough users to make a difference.

            Because it turns out that smoking up to get high is not as fun as people think it ought to be. It is a distant second to beer and wine.

            This is a great shock to the recreational producers and the government as well, they all expected a giga-buck bonanza. Oops. The Ontario government sole-source retailer lost $45 MILLION dollars since Oct. 17th 2018. Its an on-line retailer with no storefronts. Forty five million bucks, baby. Poof.

            The biggest consumers of cannabis (but still small in number) turn out to be the over-50 crowd, they all want medical cannabis in oil form.

            • Yet. One of the questions when we went into Canada from Montana, was “do you have any MJ products”, along with the gun one. Only one question. But it was there. Gun one … well that one got asked six ways to Sunday.

              • “Do you have and firearms in your vehicle?”

                “What do you need?”

                • Sigh. Don’t encourage my husband, thank you, very much. Even tho we weren’t carrying anything, the joker that he is, I wouldn’t put that beyond him. Luckily he chose to play it straight.

                  Border agents, either way, even on the Canadian border, are rather serious.

                • From what I hear also ammo can get you jailed.

                  • I could just see the excitement should I ever be forced to go through Customs. Practically everything I own that’s not regularly laundered would test positive for gunpowder residue…

                    • My mom inquired about that, because there was no line and she was an hour early– the gal explained that it’s not a trigger, at least not where she was flying out, unless there were “I was hand-loading right before I came in the door” levels of stuff, or if they were acting Oddly. (You know the drill– young, not an issue; male, not an issue; wearing a hoodie, not an issue; wandering around the store, not an issue; picking up and putting down stuff in random places, not an issue; several of those things, watch closer.)

                    • It was interesting watching 44 scouts/scouters (2001, 2005), and 12 (2003), go through security to get on planes, with daypacks, and carry on (larger luggage needed went checked). All the daypacks had been used for scout outings (at least youth), which means residue of fire smoke, lighters, and matches … Each time we waited while they all went through security. Turns out it was a good idea. More than a few scouts had unintended left overs in folds of packs. Security just handed them off to parents who waited (including our son, whose 1″ knife was still in the price package in the very bottom of the pocket he’d stuffed it. I mean he was taking this pack to school, had not remembered he’d put it there (age 12); this was 2001 before 9/11, then security was amused.

        • “After some research I decided -nothing- would happen, and lo it has come to pass. Nothing happened.”

          Yep, nothing happened….. except that you have another addition to the class of people who are unfit for productive work, but still have a vote and a body for rallies and riots.

          See Dr Pournelle: CoDominium, and borloi distributed by the ton.

          They’ll have a vote forever because of fools who don’t realize that warm-body democracy is a recipe for disaster. And the Founders knew it.

          Oh well, they’ll learn that electoral math doesn’t care about their feelz any more than any other kind of math. The survivors will be smarter.

          • While I share your disdain for “warm-body democracy” (and even, as in Chicago, not-such-warm-body democracy) I am unconvinced that the available cures would not be worse than the disease.

            To pick one simple solution, eliminating the vote for all recipients of SNAP benefits would (according to estimates at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities) preclude about 13% of the population from voting, although as much as 20% in some states — leaving a large disenfranchised minority and all the dangers attendant thereon.

            Given that no small number of beneficiaries are disabled veterans — who have certainly earned their vote — the contortions entailed in enforcing such a restriction would likely leave many a loophole susceptible to distortion and demagoguery.

            Perhaps a simpler way of addressing this would be to permit beneficiaries of government support (would that include those on rent control?) to vote, but adjust apportionment for House and Electoral College representation by reducing their “polity” by the numbers of such “indigents.” Thus New York’s population for apportionment of seats would decline by 15% while California’s would decrease 10% (based solely on SNAP recipients.)

            Mind, a quick casual review of states suggests this might decrease seats (and electoral votes) in Red states more than Blue ones … Alabama, for instance, would “lose” 17% of its “voting base” while Massachusetts was only docked 11%.

            • i would also like to point out that many military families get SNAP.

              • When I was in college part of the financial aid package was Work Study. The rules, at that time, were such that being on Work Study actually qualified me for food stamps (this was before the change to SNAP).

                I didn’t take advantage of that, but apparently it was there.

              • AAAAnnnddd — this is why “don’t bother and wait for the crash” is the only approach that makes sense.

                • well, this is why E-1s and E-2s are told not to let Mary Jane (last name censored) rope them in with a baby….

          • “Yep, nothing happened….. except that you have another addition to the class of people who are unfit for productive work, but still have a vote and a body for rallies and riots.”

            That was one of the dire predictions that didn’t happen. The people predicting widespread brain damage were wrong. Weed, no matter how strong, just plain doesn’t do that. Not in a year, anyway.

            One of the things revealed in my bit of research, which most people are not aware of, is that since cannabis was banned in the 1920s (I can’t remember the date) it has been -illegal- to study the beneficial uses of the Demon Weed. The only studies allowed by law were ones to prove harm. There’s been damn little scientific evidence of harm uncovered.

            That’s why I predicted nothing would happen. >:D

            • One of the things revealed in my bit of research, which most people are not aware of, is that since cannabis was banned in the 1920s (I can’t remember the date) it has been -illegal- to study the beneficial uses of the Demon Weed.

              That doesn’t jive well with it being almost a year and a half since they released Epidiolex, an anti-epilepsy drug.

              Pot is schedule 1, yes, which means that it is work to use it in trials. It’s still legal. The DEA even provides the pot; it’s grown at the University of Mississippi.
              https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/marijuana-research-human-subjects

              • I know people who study it. The beneficial effects are dwarfed by the non-beneficial ones….

                • That’s what I keep finding, too. Even the guys who are really excited about the potential are also scared silly– because a lot of the really useful stuff they find when they try to figure out why X person had seriously bad effects, and Y person didn’t, and that’s how they discovered some of the cannabinoids are anti-psychotics.

                  Being a plant, though, it’s hard to standardize.

              • Unless I’ve been misinformed (or disinformed) most of the research that went into the creation of Epidiolex was done in Israel. Legalization trials were taken in the USA after the -amazing- results they got in Israel. (Epidiolex is CBD oil with lots of Drug Company Marketing Magic attached. Its also fantastically expensive.)

                Use of the DEA provided Official Weed, as a -practical- matter, was impossible for researchers unless their studies were measuring harms. Technically it should have been possible, but Real World it didn’t happen. Also, strains of Cannabis vary -widely- in their effects both pro and con depending on the individual and/or the disease process in question. Example, some put you to sleep, some keep you awake, regardless of the THC content. Because there’s something else besides THC in the mix.

                In truth we Canadians have been quite fortunate in this entire legalization process. NOTHING is know about the stuff from a pharma point of view. For all the government knew it could have been a public health disaster.

                Lucky for us the stuff doesn’t do much of anything that’s harmful, and it is boring as hell from a recreational perspective. Smoke a joint, then collapse on the couch and go to sleep in front of the TV. Wow, excitement.

                I don’t want people to get the wrong idea, and think that I’m advocating for people to run out and use weed. It has its uses, one of which as mentioned above is that it is -amazing- at treating seizures, particularly in young children. Literally amazing at treating sleep disorders. One of the only things available which will do anything at all for fibromyalgia. Pretty good at treating PTSD. Not bad for pain relief, with reduced side effects compared to opiates. -Might- be okay for reducing spasticity in neuro disorders, but no data so far. Etc. There’s a lot we don’t know.

                If you don’t have those things wrong with you, why bother? Its medicine.

                • Use of the DEA provided Official Weed, as a -practical- matter, was impossible for researchers unless their studies were measuring harms.

                  That’s rather different, and frankly beyond proof– research doesn’t generally have the results determined before it starts, when it’s actual research.

                  It took me about ten minutes to find this study, in America, from the mid-70s.
                  Clinical Pharmacology of Natural and Synthetic Cannabinoids.
                  https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-1-4613-4286-1_30

                  If you go to the bottom, you can find a long list of citations.

                  A lot of negative conclusions, yes, but several are very obviously studying the actual effects.

                  In truth we Canadians have been quite fortunate in this entire legalization process. NOTHING is know about the stuff from a pharma point of view. For all the government knew it could have been a public health disaster.

                  ….Alright, I’m out.

                  Either you’re not going to accept any sources I offer, or your idea of nothing being known and there not being known negative effects is so wildly high a bar to cross that I can’t jump it. Every time they’ve tried to make a study to remove every other possible reason for the higher psychotic breaks in pot users, tracking how much use and how early they start, they keep getting the correlation between pot use and psychosis. It’s at the point where you have to assume that those who are going to have a psychological break overwhelmingly seek out pot, and the overall rate raises at the same time.

                  • “Every time they’ve tried to make a study to remove every other possible reason for the higher psychotic breaks in pot users, tracking how much use and how early they start, they keep getting the correlation between pot use and psychosis.”

                    That’s because the confounding factors are large. Most (not all) of these studies are on street people using street drugs. As I’ve been saying, the street stuff gets mixed with some extremely dangerous shit.

                    The other thing is not all strains perform the same in all people. Some people DEFINITELY DO have negative effects from taking weed. For sure. Agitation, anxiety, they freak out. But, the effects stop as soon as the weed wears off. I’ve seen no studies claiming permanent disability following use of known-quantity cannabis.

                    For example: From the Israel-based research on seizures, there was a case study. Child X had intractable seizures, maybe 20 per day. Short version, CBD oil cut seizures down to 2-6 per day. They fiddled with the strains and got the kid down to seizure free on one particular strain, and behaviorally very calm and lucid. Then they ran out of the good strain, and tried another one. The kid freaked out. Got the good strain back, kid stopped freaking out.

                    But talking about permanent harm and brain damage -caused- by consuming actual plain-vanilla cannabis, yes I do set the bar pretty high. Its a medical question, I’m looking for medical-grade evidence. Correlation is insufficient.

                    And really haven’t we had enough of this correlation business with gun control and climate change?

                • BobtheRegisterredFool

                  Seriously, what Sarah said.

                  Just the guy I know about was, when I looked him up, working on investigating medicinal effects of chemicals in the general category with the NIH. I have twenty to fifty of his papers I looked up, but never really read, somewhere. Under a handle he made other comments on the topic, some on the bar.

                  If someone told you that no one was researching the chemicals, or derivatives, in a careful controlled way looking for beneficial effects, they were lying or mistaken.

                  Street pot is a different matter. Street pot is a bunch of different chemicals, and the concentrations are not tightly controlled. Which means that controlled dosage testing is “LOL, no”. So no one would test the stuff in a way that would provide the ‘pharmacy company magic’ it takes to get something approved by the FDA, because it would be an expensive failure, and the drug companies are already fucked because of underwriting the expensive failures that they get when they aren’t being actively stupid.

                  And it is precisely a subset of the benefits you list research demonstrating from some of the chemicals in some circumstances that establishes the risk. Medicine 101 a) all medicines are poisons b) toxicity is in the dose. If you are causing a change to a brain system that makes a unhealthy brain healthy, in theory the same change could make a healthy brain unhealthy. In practice, some brains will be fragile to it, and many will be robust. In terms you think about, you aren’t going to break someone’s back with a hard casual slap most of the time. But some of your PT techniques, which I know nothing about, could really hurt someone if misused. My impression is that there is a lot more unknown information about what modifying brain chemistry does than there is about what PT does.

                  We did, in fact, have enough information about the effects to rule out mass psychosis with rioting in the streets at the one year point.

                  The known factors are a) extended use b) heavy use c) use at a young age. The new cohort of voters over the past year are a small fraction of voters, and perhaps old enough to miss the worst effects of use at a young age. Someone who starts smoking the stuff because it is legal is unlikely to get to heavy enough usage inside of a year to make anything show up unless they are really fragile. And a lot of the long term stuff that shows up is over decades, not years. Most people are robust enough to street pot that you very rarely see any immediate obvious interesting effects from a single small dose. So the research into harmful effects looks for a) subtle effects b) prolonged use of heavy doses c) sub populations with higher fragility, like the very young. If you assume a combination of media or government censorship, you are not going to replicate any of these tests via anecdotes from news in a single year. Colorado has had it legal for longer, and the anecdotes (I’ve only looked for the negatives) aren’t enough to convince me of any impact, and I want to believe that legalization is a seriously bad thing.

                  (Yeah, more people at the children’s psychiatric hospital messed up from the stuff is the sort of thing that might be persuasive, if one was able to dig into the numbers enough. There was an anecdote with numbers, but it was not shown that every factor had been controlled for. Given current legalizations in the US, we might be able to do a pretty solid study along those lines in five or ten years. Going off a layman’s grasp of medical scientific writing.)

    • Speaking of the Canadian election, I’m waiting to hear all my “betters” talk about how Trudeau is an illegitimate PM because he didn’t win the popular vote.

      • Right? Funny how the popular vote means diddly when a Lefty wins.

        But to put this in perspective about how bent this system is: there are more than double the number of people in Alberta than live in the whole of the Maritimes provinces. The Maritimes have ~32 seats between them, Alberta has ~34 seats. I think Calgary alone has a greater economic output than Newfoundland.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Canadian_federal_electoral_districts

        Toronto area has 53 seats. 26 in city of Toronto proper. So you either sell it in Hogtown, or you don’t win.

        • Is this like democracy is right when it agrees with the left and when democracy doesn’t then republicanism is revived, as we’re seeing in the UK over Brexit. Then again, your vote only counts when it agrees with the EU is a long standing principle for joining so it is no surprise it is for leaving as well.

        • Tbh I think it’s the same thing as happened in the US in 16. An 80/20 win counts as much as a 51/49.

  12. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Larry Gonzales, Deep Survival.

    Confusion kills.

    And we are in an information warfare environment.

    Why the utility of unchanging inner guideposts, of opinions that can be tightly held no matter what the world says.

    It is more survivable to have opinions like “doesn’t matter, still wrong” and I suspect also “If I’m wrong there is no impact, so no obligation to discuss it and consider weaknesses.”

    • You’re right about the information warfare. Nice thing is, there’s multiple sides telling different lies instead of the old days when it was one side with one lie. Makes it easier to understand you’re constantly being lied to.

    • Yes! Very good book.

      And a very good thing to remember if you’re in an abusive situation, or know someone who is – one of the main weapons of the abuser is their ability to create confusion, which then paralyzes the victim.

      …Any resemblance to progressive actions may be intentional….

  13. Yeah, I’m dealing with Laid Off Middle Aged Man syndrome right now. Or its XX equivalent. I spent the last twenty years thinking of myself as a budding academic, and I’m not anymore. Probably won’t be again. Ultimately, Indie writing might be a better, more satisfying career, but that doesn’t seem to matter as I feel somewhat depressed every morning when I’m not getting in the car and heading off to the university.

    I’m fond of saying that I’m a conservative in much more than just the political sense. I was born middle-aged (having finally achieved my lifelong dream of getting a lawn so I can tell the damn kids to get off it), and if time had stopped in the 1990s, I’d have been okay with that, Slick Willy and all. But it didn’t, and somehow I have to find a way to move with it.

    • On-line education is probably the replacement for the brick and mortar schools; at least for the majority of Americans, and possibly other humans around the world. The Ivy Leagues will remain as centers for the rich and powerful to party, socialize, and network with each other and avoid the rest of us deplorables

      • Schools aren’t *about* education. K-12 is just public daycare and indoctrination, and college for buying credentials, not learning things.

        Years ago, MIT put its entire curriculum online for free. That’s because they’re not in the business of selling education…

      • Which is pretty much their historic role.

      • It is. But it will take time.

        • I was talking to my daughter about her future plans. She wants to be a tattoo artist. (She’s got the “artist” part down cold.) I suggested that even if she didn’t want to do college in pursuit of a degree (and one’s not necessary for her career plans), she might want to consider some specific courses–things like basic accounting and such–for the business side of things.

          Her response is that was available online without the need to actually attend a brick and mortar college (“brick and mortar” being my phrasing of the idea she was expressing). She has a point.

          • My cousin is a huge proponent of 2yr community college paid for as taken (no debt).
            He was cutting trees for pulp and decided there had to be a better way (bad morning at work, he left at lunch), got a part time job and picked up work as he could roofing siding etc and took Accounting and some related stuff.
            Oh, he is also my richest cousin. Once took a $250,000 pay cut (was a temp CEO while being the CFO and they finally found a new CEO).
            Tried to retire, and the company bought a small business and has him run that for them.

          • Your daughter is I hope aware that her chosen career is highly regulated and requires licensing and certifications. And that’s just to legally do tattooing. And even if she becomes the best tattoo artist ever, unless she also becomes a business woman she will always serve at the beck and call of someone else.
            Dealing with a somewhat similar situation with my grand daughter. She has just started culinary school with hopes to become a baker. Two year community college courses and in addition to the pastry knowledge she wants they require both general cooking skill classes and a few business courses as well. We’ve had several discussions about what her real goals are and what it will take to achieve them.

            • One of my first jobs was as a draftsman in a small architectural firm. The owner told me if he ever had to do his life over again, he would have dropped a bunch of architectural classes in favor of accounting and business management.

              I went into business for myself later and found just the paperwork and non-working overhead could easily exceed actual working time. Which is why you see so many people with small businesses working ten hours a day, six days a week, and a few hours on Sunday to get caught up…

              • The owner told me if he ever had to do his life over again, he would have dropped a bunch of architectural classes in favor of accounting and business management.

                These were exactly the kinds of classes I was suggesting she might want to take, to which her response was classes in that were available online without the need to actually attend college.

                And on reflection, if it’s for her own use rather than as a “credential” to work for others, that may well be entirely viable (depends on how good the online courses are).

                • If she actually does the online classes.

                  Some people do. I find it really hard to hold myself accountable and do better in a classroom where progression is dictated by someone else.

                • I think it’s time for me to look into some of those online classes. I’ve said that, looking back, I wish I’d taken some business classes in college, although at the time I never would’ve imagined I’d end up running a small business, rather than being a librarian or academic. (The other coulda woulda shoulda is courses on web coding, but those wouldn’t have been available in my undergrad days, for the simple reason that HTTP and everything that depends on it had yet to be developed).

    • Having a lawn is great, eh? ~:D

      You know what I miss? CFNY, from the 1980s. I put that station in a First Contact message for the sheer nostalgia of it.

      • Hit the search engines, or, hell, even call up the station and see if they have any old tapes.

        When I was a kid in California in the mid ’60s my parents left the radio on. “KRAK radio, 1140” AM. One day I punched it into the goog just for kicks, and KRAK is long gone… but there were .mp3s some people had made from tapes recorded when I might have been listening.

        On the subject of radio, I once mentioned I have a twin; Hassan Nasrullah, head of the Hezbollah, one of the most-wanted terrorists in the world. I fully expect some Federal facial recognition software to go “ding!” someday… but I now know we’re at least triplets. Nasrullah I could write off to chance, but there’s a DJ in Sacramento who not only has my face, we were born in the same town, have the same birthday, and *the SAME NAME*. And the same hair style, beard, and glasses frames. WTF?

        If Mom was still around, I’d be asking some questions… I tried asking him some questions, but after the first he would never reply. Probably thought I was some kind of nut.

        • Five light years away, music was expanding in a globe around the Earth spacecraft, growing at the speed of light.

          The front edge of that sphere of funk rolled over an antenna on a rock about two astronomical units from Barnard’s Star. The antenna’s governing intelligence, the toaster probe, noted the signal immediately, and several dishes spaced around the system whipped around to track it.

          The probe intelligence immediately noticed that the transmission originated in the local star system, but was an analog representation of an audio recording similar to those from the third planet of the Noisy Star, the second closest stellar neighbor. Doing a quick database search, it remembered having dispatched a probe, Number 27, to the Noisy Star 600 years previously, long before the noise from its third planet began.

          Searching deeper, it found a match to the audio recording in its files on transmissions from the Noisy Star. The dispatched probe #27 therefore must have sent something from there to the Barnard’s Star system. But that was impossible, there had not been enough time since the probe arrived at the Noisy Star for a return trip. And why come all the way from there to stop and play an audio transmission on an analog radio frequency? Had this transmitter merely copied the recording as it traveled to Barnard’s Star? Why would it draw attention to itself?

          All that took under a millisecond of time. Another millisecond was consumed decoding the transmission and setting the parameters for it to be ‘heard’ and understood. The third planet of the Noisy Star had a nitrogen/oxygen atmosphere, which ran to 15 pounds per square inch of gas pressure. The governing intelligence had files deep in its database describing devices using electromagnetic coils and diaphragms to record analog signals such as the transmission. By simulating the same thing in its sensorium, the probe intelligence was able to ‘play’ the transmission live. The incoming information was agonizingly slow, the whole message took four minutes and twenty-seven seconds to complete.

          It began with a repetitive percussion; resonant objects being struck with something hard. Then there came the sound of plucked strings, several at a time, some very deep, others high. Finally, there was human vocalization. The intelligence ran another decoding sequence on them, and recognized North American English:

          “Very superstitious, writings on the wall,
          Very superstitious, ladders ‘bout to fall,”

          According to its database, the transmission was a recording from 1972, Stevie Wonder singing “Superstition.”

          At the end of the song, there was another voice, which said:
          “Hi, gang. Scott Lame here. The Boss jock with the Boss sound from the Boss list of the Boss 30 that my Boss told me to play!” That was identified as George Carlin, also from about 1972.

          A third voice said:
          “This is CFNY FM, 102.1, the spirit of radio! Call in and we’ll spin that platter for you!” This voice was not in the database, but CFNY “the spirit of radio” call sign had been off the air since 1992.

          That made no sense at all. The probe intelligence was confounded by this occurrence. It identified the source of the signal as a previously unknown object in a stable orbit at an approximate distance of 9.6 astronomical units. The object had a very high surface albedo (it was shiny) and was radiating on a huge number of frequencies with a gigawatt power output. Sensors indicated a plume of extremely hot ionized gas was departing the system on a vector consistent with braking thrust for an object on its current orbit.

          That last datum gave the intelligence pause. The indications were that an energy expenditure of nearly stellar intensity had occurred, leading to the conclusion that the object had been traveling at a fair percentage of light speed. Also that its braking curve did not follow normal Newtonian mechanics. It shouldn’t have survived that braking maneuver, and it couldn’t be on its present vector. But there it was, playing Stevie Wonder.

  14. (as most people insist on not being, inexplicably)

    Funny, I would happily be you… for a day. Except, not because of YOU (no offence intended), it’s just that I’ve dreamed of being someone else, ANYONE else, just for a day to see what it’s like ever since I was a kid. I think I took the whole “walk a mile in someone’s shoes” too literally, only exasperated by a touch of arthritis starting when I was fairly young. Not BAD arthritis, just enough to be noticeable. Of course, it had steadily gotten worse as I age, so approaching 50 it’s an always there thing, with some days (usually around large weather changes) being worse.

    So, I try very hard not to complain. Many people who know me don’t even know about it since I don’t talk about it. But, when I hear people talk about their physical pain, I’m left to wonder if it’s worse, or not as bad? If I swapped bodies with someone for a day, would it be that much different? What would it be like swapping with someone who doesn’t hurt at all (assuming there is anyone that applies to)? Or does everyone hurt just like I do, and I’m just a wimp for not just ignoring it like everyone else?

    • I read somewhere recently that over half the USA has some nagging ache or pain that they deal with all the time, some study or other. Trading with me right now, you’d be getting a sharp periodic pain in the knee instead of a generalized joint ache, plus a pretty sore thumb joint.

      I remember when it didn’t hurt. 20 years ago. Oddly, life was not better. We adapt and make things normal, I guess.

      • I’ve had various pains for years, with a variety of ways to have painful feet. Some have been fixable, while others can be controlled, for various levels of barely.

        I’m three months out of bunion surgery, and apart from being woefully out of shape, I can do a bit of work now. It gets better, but there are some non-fixable issues I have to work around.

        I got smart and stopped trying to learn to throw pots when the hands said “hell no”. (The owner of the ceramic supply place threw pots for decades, and his hands turned into claw-like things. I can take a hint.)

        Morning pain means I’m still alive. I’ll take that, along with my morning Ibuprofen.

        • I really HATE plantar fasciitis.

          • I second this opinion.

          • Been there, done that and have the orthotics.. They help, but my current podiatrist showed me a couple of stretches that did wonders. They’re found (more or less how I do them) in this link: (see note below)
            https://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/foot/heel-pain/plantar-fasciitis-exercises

            I don’t do the full suite, but just these: The Gastrocnemius stretch, and the Soleus stretch, (which is similar to the first, but with a bent back leg).

            I do three 10-second reps of each type per leg, three times a day (skipping the mid-day one when I go into town). It took 6 weeks, but after that time, the PF was gone. If you overdo it your achilles tendon will hurt, so a) do it gently, with b) pro help at first.

            I’ve been doing these for about 6 years with success. If necessary, I can skip the orthotics for a while without problems, and I can wander the house in bare feet without pain on hard floors.

            As an unintended control test, I had to stop the stretches after bunion surgery. With no orthotics and no stretches, plantar fasciitis came back after 10 weeks. I’m now 3 weeks into resuming stretches and orthotics, and the pain is considerably reduced.

            (* note) The Achilles tendon and the plantar fascia are connected, and are supposed to slide through the heel bone, and do so for kids. Once they freeze up, the fascia can get irritated. The stretches gradually allow that sliding to occur again.

            I’d recommend talking to a podiatrist and work up a plan. It works for me, and most of my joints resemble the post-rain Tin Man…

            • Luckily, I only seem to get PF when I’m wearing memory foam soles for an extended period—barefoot is still a perfectly acceptable option, as are shoes with an arch support. (Just figured out that the memory foam exclusion still applies after wearing a new set of sneakers for a month and now my feet hurt in new and bizarre ways. Oh well, it’s finally getting cool enough for the stompers.)

      • I tell teenagers the body has a long memory, and holds grudges. It will get you back for all the stuff you did to it.
        Losing weight and exercising has helped me with my arthritic knee, but I still have to deal with my gut. Seems that it has had more than enough of years of spicy food liberally seasoned with MSG, and isn’t going to take anymore.

      • I wake up, and it pretty much goes downhill from there.

        Good days I use the cane. Bad days it’s the crutches. Really bad days… “Some days, it’s just not worth gnawing through the restraints.”

    • )? Or does everyone hurt just like I do, and I’m just a wimp for not just ignoring it like everyone else?

      Nope.

      Most people probably do have things that hurt– but it’s not just like you, going off of the number of times I’ve had folks mention this or that new pain that I assumed was normal, or visa-versa.

    • Idiopathic Nephropathy and arthritis in the spine, possibly in a knee, here. On disability due to issues with balance and movement that meant I couldn’t meet my job’s requirements.

      One thing that keeps it all in perspective is hanging around the VFW post with guys who have more serious, service related problems and not complaining about it.

      I know also understand why the “old folks” of my youth spent so much time talking about and comparing their ailments.

  15. Trump shock!!!

  16. “Jimmy Carter finally got his second (and third) term which all the left had been telling everyone would have been utopia.”

    I knew this. I knew it when Obama was running as a primary candidate. I said it during the general elections … not that anyone listened to me (really tired of getting patted on the head, & I’m 63; dang it). Granted, most my circles I was preaching to the choir, but still … “I told you”, never works. Maybe if I had thrown a tantrum? Seems to be working for the other side. NO darn it. Someone has to be an adult.

    • Obama was the Hope and Change President.
      We all hoped he would change things for the better. Well, he killed our hopes, and things didn’t get better, but damn if he didn’t %$#@^! change things!

      • Which, interestingly enough, nobody seemed to remember was just recycling the previous Hope and Change candidate. (Dollar Billy.)

        It will be interesting to see if the Party revives Hope and Change for whatever bozo they pick at the upcoming convention, or if they try something else.

      • Hope is not a strategy. Change happens no matter who’s in charge, which means a big “so what” to that part of the slogan.

        • Trump has tried to make plenty of changes.

          • You kind of make my point.

            Change is going to happen no matter who wins an election. Uncontrollable and unpredictable outside forces impact the course of societal change far beyond what any individual in the Oval Office can affect, even using the unconstitutional powers ceded by a lazy congress available to a President these days.

            You say things will change if you are elected? Well Duh! Of course they will. Just as they will if your opponent is elected.

            To me, the real message of the “Hope and Change” motto was the basic cluelessness and incredible arrogance of the person using it.

            • “using the unconstitutional powers ceded by a lazy congress available to a President these days.”

              Of course, if you look closely, 90% of what Trump has done is to start following the laws as Congress wrote them.

      • We all!?!?

        Don’t include me, or any member of my family, in that we. We knew better.

      • The first I heard of his “hope and change” theme, what immediately sprung to mind was Brother, Can You Spare A Dime? And when the election results came in… it was pretty much that, as any sane business did their damnedest to avoid every expense, even the needful ones, knowing they were gonna get hurt.

      • I said in 2008 that my hope was I’d have some change left in my pocket after he got done ‘fundamentally transforming’ the country. SF,SG.

    • I was hoping Obama would be ONLY as bad as Carter.

      Was. Hoping.

      • Point.

        Hmmm. People might listen if my current message is “I was wrong. Obama wasn’t another Carter. He was worse …” Think that will work?

        Nah. Don’t think so.

  17. Oh, wait, if you make drunkards into drug addicts that takes care of most of Europe these days.

    And if you drunkards Otaku you get Japan. They never recovered from WW2, although they might have hung on long enough to get a second chance, mainly because they were occupied in the historical sense of the victors taking the women as wives and fathering the majority of the next generation.

    Nixon, children, thought that wage and price controls were reasonable.

    Nixon was negotiating UBI, in the form of a negative income tax, and was only stopped by Watergate. Another great example of the Dems letting personal dislike derail their own policy proposals.

    That’s because they feel they must do something. The fact that it’s all irrational is not lost on them and it’s driving them crazier.

    Crazy and irrational people do crazy and irrational things, like start wars they can’t win, but that we can all lose.

    That’s why I fear them.

    • Getting Nixon out of office over Watergate probably made sense. The undoing of EVERYTHING (other than China..) Nixon did, did certainly NOT make sense – even if the only example is the withdrawal of support for South Vietnam. That was… what’s the word.. oh, yes, EVIL.

      • In Tip O’Neill’s autobiography, “Man of the House”, O’Neill talks about how he spearheaded the Democratic opposition to continuing the war in Vietnam. (even though it was created by Kennedy and Johnson)

        In one of their “special sessions” they were able to get enough votes to de-fund the budget for the war. Poof! “And take *that*, Tricky Dick!”

        In Richard Nixon’s autobiography, “The White House Years”, he told how he had just enough money in the new budget to close things down and get our guys back. There wasn’t enough money to return, or even properly destroy, all the hardware we had over there.

        It’s well worth reading both books. (Nixon’s is in two volumes) Together, they give a *very* different view of the Vietnam War than the usual military or media stories.

      • Yep. South Vietnam had defeated a similar offensive with US support, but Congress denied it after driving Nixon out when Ford requested it.

        How many deaths are on the heads of those who did that?

  18. People haven’t changed since we started walking upright. We do the same things, just in different ways. I think the disconnect comes from believing that a new way of doing something means that the people themselves have changed.

    I have a hard time dealing with people who don’t get it so I just don’t engage any more.

  19. There’s a lot to what you say, but I think the Left’s crisis of the soul has been going on longer. One could go all the way back to the revelation that friendly old Uncle Joe Stalin was a monster, but I think the cracks started showing after the 1972 election. The Democrat Party had done a major overhaul of the rules by which delegates to their Convention were seated; this gave political activists much greater representation than ever before, at the expense of local political figures and labor reps. In short, the Progressive Intellectuals had more or less seized control of the nomination process. Progressive Big Government thinking had dominated much of national political thinking since WWII, but now the intelligentsia would be able to hand pick the nominee.

    And they picked McGovern. Who won his home state and the District of Columbia.

    They managed to tell themselves that if not for the Watergate break in the Right Man would have won, but the truth was the Watergate break in was colossal waste of effort. McGovern pleased the Intelligentsia, but he would have had an uphill battle running against a teatotalist in Glasgow.

    Then, when they were running against The Man Who Pardoned Nixon, the best they could agree on was Carter, and they didn’t back him once he was in office. They had invested huge amounts of political capital in ‘Watergate’ and what they got for it was four years of political and economic stagnation.

    Enter Reagan.

    They spent an awful lot of energy and treasure trying to drag down Reagan, but while they convinced themselves, their efforts didn’t play outside their bubble.

    Then the USSR collapsed.

    Ach election cycle, they revealed themselves a little more, and got a little crazier. Until, here we are.

    • Actchulllay, McGovern only got Mass & DC.
      He couldn’t even pull off his own home state.

      • Ouch. So, in a way, managed to do sort of the same and sort of worse than Mondale later did. Mondale carried DC and, it was eventually found, Minnesota. I recall Mark Russell summing up that election night as the networks having to make DC blink on their maps as if, ala The Fly it was signalling “Help me! Help me!”

      • What’s funny is, I remember that election. Far too young to vote, but “McGovern!” signs were everywhere, and TV commercials, and the radio… And I remember how people were so bummed when that other guy won.

        Funny, I think I saw that movie again, recently…

        And for all the people who didn’t vote for Richard Milhous Nixon (which was, to hear them say it, almost everyone), Nixon took 49 out of 50 states and 520 out of 537 electoral votes, with a raw percentage of 61% of all votes.

        McGovern didn’t just lose, the Democratic Party got their faces rubbed in it. How *dare* the deplorables do that to them?!

      • Like Gore couldn’t win in Tennessee?

    • I think the Donks sealed their fate in 1972 when they kicked Mayor Daley’s delegation out of the convention. After that point, the Chicago Machine was teaching people how to vote a split ticket on their voting machines. I also suspect that either a) the dead didn’t vote in Chicago in Nov ’72, or b) they also voted split tickets.

      • HST goes into that a bit in his book on the ’72 campaign.
        McGovern’s staff really wanted Daley on board, but the bitter radicals from the ’68 fiasco (HST included) wanted revenge.
        Which was rather short sighted.

  20. Gorbachev ended the Cold War just like Hirohito ended World War Two.

    • Any tyrant is basically some dude who has a tiger by the tail.
      Gorby thought that a loosing his grip would make things easier.
      So, in a way, he did- but it was not his intention.

      • it should be recalled that the proximal event to the end of the USSR was a Red Army Generals Coup to overthrow Gorby when he was away from Moscow to which the majority of the Soviet military neglected to attend.

        So one could say the Generals of the Red Army ended the Cold War.

        • “Not a bang, but a whimper” as the saying goes.
          I was hoping more for something like the end of “Red Storm Rising” myself.

          • There was much relief (and perhaps shock) that it was a whimper and no bangs or booms to any great degree.

          • With the information I had at the time, my best guess was that there would be a civil war in Russia, and we’d wind up with Americans and Russians fighting Chinese and Russians.

            China and Russia were having some nasty border disputes at the time, as in “occasionally shooting at each other.” And the USA had *already* gotten involved in a Russian civil war, back when we sent the American Expeditionary Force over to back the White Russians against Mensheviks.

            Luckily I was absolutely wrong, but I’m okay with that.

            • It was largely the Bolsheviks that the American Expeditionary Forces were fighting. The Mensheviks had been supporters of the Provisional Government that the Bolsheviks overthrew in the October Revolution of November 1917, and were largely out of power after. Some Mensheviks went on to support the Bolsheviks, some the White Russians, and some just tried to get out of the way, but they were already out of power as an organized group and would soon be completely suppressed by the Bolsheviks. The US forces arrived in Russia in late summer and early fall of 1918.

  21. The mental picture I get from this post is that of a deposed and exiled prince who still demands that he be addressed as “your highness”, and insist that all the points of courtly etiquette be observed in his presence.

    Or of Hillary Clinton turning into Norma Desmond.

    • I am prompted to imagine a somewhat less benign Emperor Norton.

      Now I think upon it, the history of San Francisco’s handling of obvious lunatics …

      • –snip–
        Norton issued numerous decrees on matters of the state, including a decree on October 12, 1859 to formally abolish the United States Congress. In it, he observed:

        fraud and corruption prevent a fair and proper expression of the public voice; that open violation of the laws are constantly occurring, caused by mobs, parties, factions and undue influence of political sects; that the citizen has not that protection of person and property which he is entitled.[31]
        (Wikipedia)
        –/snip–

        And they called him crazy?

    • She’s ready for her close-up, Mr. DeMille.

    • Even further off-topic than normal… in L. Neil Smith’s “The Probability Broach” there’s a character named Kleingunther. When I first read the book, not long after it came out, Kleingunther seemed awfully familiar, but I couldn’t put a finger on it. Several of the characters in the book (set in an alternate timeline) were analogs of ones in OTL, but I wasn’t up enough on popular culture to spot all of them.

      A few years ago it finally came to me: Kleingunther’s analog wasn’t a real person, but another character – “Max”, as played by Harvey Korman, in Carol Burnett’s “Nora Desmond” skits.

      There seem to be only two of the Nora Desmond skits on YouTube, alas.

  22. Not only have they moved the cheese, the rat maze has been completely reconfigured, such that the path that used to lead to the cheese no longer exists. You take a few steps down that familiar trail, and run into a dead end that was never there before.
    ———————————
    Everything the Democrats do makes perfect sense once you realize that they have given up on getting people to want to vote for them, and are putting all their efforts into making people afraid to vote against them.

    • The Biblical story of Solomon’s son Rehoboam comes to mind.
      He tried something similar, and most of Israel told him and his family to get lost.

      • What is interesting to me is there’s no Clinton oxygen left in the room for the bright future political stardom of Chelsea Clinton with The Dowager Empress in Exile insisting on repeatedly spouting off in public like a lunatic.

        And you know what happens when someone gets in the way of a Clinton female’s rightful progression to power.

        Tragic unforeseen cardiothrombic event involving a towel, a box of chocolates, and an empty room? Mysterious accidental electrocution? Accidental contamination of radionuclides in the Chardonnay box? The method will be the surprise, but not the occurrence.

        • I don’t see Chelsea as having that gnawing, burning, never to be sated hunger for power that drives Hillary.
          She comes across as a pretty nice person, and fairly happy where she is.
          Hillary, on the other hand, has been pretty obvious in her ambition for decades.
          On the gripping hand, Bill may be the one to put Hil out to pasture.

          • > She comes across as a pretty nice person, and fairly happy where she is.

            Considering how much Clinton Foundation money “evaporated” while she was in charge of it, I have no doubt she’s happy.

        • Hrmm… contaminated Chardonay, you say? (See/hear 1:47… and yeah, changed isotope for the song – as if 209 vs 210 would’ve mattered there.)

    • > afraid to vote against them

      Note that there’s no secret ballot in some jurisdictions now, so they know how you voted.

      We haven’t had a secret ballot in my county since before Obama.

  23. Christopher Chantrill

    Good piece. We all have a theory of How the World Works, and our lefty friends just cannot believe that their theory of the world has been thrown in the dumpster.

    In a way, the longer they take to figure it out, the better.

    But I feel for them, I really do.

  24. Rereading this post, I noticed this:
    “Nowadays we’re dinosaurs because we still use a GPS (being somewhat deaf, most cell phone GPSs are too quiet for me.)”

    When driving, I also use a stand-alone GPS. For two reasons. 1) it doesn’t require an Internet connection to work; 2) it doesn’t drain my cellphone’s battery. Reason #1 is important; in northern New England, once you get off the highways, cell reception is … unreliable to say the least. I imagine it can be the same in the Colorado mountains.

    • Pff. I would use a GPS for the reasons you state, and the fact you can get actors to voice it. Humorous example:

      • I admit I wouldn’t mind having Peter Cullen* as my GPS voice. Or possibly James Earl Jones. But to be honest, if I’m going anywhere I already know the way, I leave the voice turned off. I only use the voice directions when going somewhere I’ve not been before.

        * for those who don’t know the name, Peter Cullen is the voice of Optimus Prime.

        • I’m thinking some voices — Porky the Pig, for example, or Stephen Hawking — would be worse than others.

          And some I just don’t know about … Mister T, for example, announcing, “I pity the fool who doesn’t turn right in twenty yards!”

          • Once left the Brisbane airport with a rental car & GPS. The on-screen instructions were in English, but some joker set the voice to Angry Soviet Commissar Russian.
            I was afraid to not do what it told me, lest I be directed to the Lubyanka.

    • A couple of weeks ago a friend needed to go to a place about 60 miles away. He wasn’t feeling so hot, so he took me up on my offer to drive him. Of course, we took his car, which is an innocent-looking four door sedan that’s fun to drive. A 600hp supercharged, intercooled V8 makes almost anything fun to drive.

      We spent two hours running a search pattern across most of a county while he poked at his phone trying to get his GPS app to guide us to the correct address. I finally pulled over, turned on my smartphone that I’d brought along, loaded the web browser, hit Google Maps, and got directions from that. I use the phone the same way I do my desktop, with most of the same software. Twenty minutes later we were where we were going.

      The two main problems were that he wasn’t feeling well and that his car is sprung firmly enough that he was having trouble operating the touch screen. But still, most “apps” are pretty dull tools compared to real software.

      • Problem with GPS units, including those in cars, you have to manually keep them updated. Car I thought, as long as we kept the service, it would update automatically … nope. I manually update the whole thing just before hubby goes on his annual golf trip south. Otherwise, it is just back ground noise. We both use Android Auto (which is worthless if no cell coverage).

    • I don’t know about other systems, but Waze has a feature where you download all the maps for the programmed route, and the GPS keeps working without signal.

      • Yes. Waze, and Google Maps, both work that way on your Cell Phone. Used it in Canada, where we kept our phones on Airplane mode, turning on/off WiFi (roaming charges & battery saving). But irritating enough, the saved maps couldn’t be brought up with the Android Auto setting (then, Android Auto has updated since then). Difference between larger screen VS cell phone size. Not that big of a deal because driver had navigator to read smaller screen. Biggest challenge was figuring out how to get to Canada Hwy 1 West from border crossing without going through Calgary. It was interesting … we did not have a physical map … I TOLD him we wouldn’t have cell coverage in Canada because of cost (our carrier doesn’t have foreign, including Canada or Mexico, options). Vehicle we were in doesn’t have the GPS Nav system.

        There have been some rumors of jurisdictions giving tickets for cell phone use when user is using navigation apps on their cell phone, even hands free, because they were glancing at the phone screen map.

        • Using a phone in a car in a different state is almost as complicated as carrying a gun in a different state. You have to check ahead to look for any gotchas…

          The local legislature considered a bill to require only “hands-free” phone usage while driving. I asked if this would apply to police, fire, or ambulance personnel who regularly used wired radios that had no hands-free options.

          “Oh, they have special training for that.”

          “*Really?* Where can I get that?”

          “What? You can’t have that. That’s just silly!”

          They contented themselves with making “texting while driving” a misdemeanor after getting tangled up in “can you still talk to someone in the passenger seat” and “are you going to pull the licenses from people who have only one arm?”

          There was some discussion of requiring “headsets”, until I pointed out that the state vehicle code specifically prohibits ear plugs and headphones, “for safety.” (if’s okay to turn your stereo up until your ears bleed, or to be completely deaf, but protecting your hearing in a noisy vehicle is verboten.) Apparently they didn’t want to take on the work of repealing the prohibition, so the headset thing got dropped too.

  25. I think I’ve been staring at the wall too. It also might have to do with death, moving, and my kidneys are weakening. I find myself staring at the computer and TV and not accomplishing much.

  26. I do a lot of motorcycle riding in the USA, so using a GPS or phone for nav duties is pretty much right out.
    But, thanks to an innate sense of direction, and the wonders of Google Maps, I’m pretty much able to pre-viz my trips before I go. Which is kind of a fun thing to do in it’s own right, especially during slow days in the office.

    • Our first use of a Nav system, integrated into our new car in ’15 down to Arizona via a few golf stops in CA. Given that Portland is our example for more than 2 lane freeways … OMG the arguments the GPS stopped on which exit, which lane, because we needed the middle exit lane to hit the right exit after the freeway exit. More impressive when it is possible with the truck and trailer. But generally where we are taking those, the lanes aren’t as intimidating.

    • I will simply note that Motorcycle Heads Up Displays are now actually a thing.

      • “Timerider helmets.” The Army was field-testing them for motorcycle troops in the early ‘oughts. My brother air-dropped a bunch of grunts with their Diesel Kawasakis into the Florida woods for some of that; after getting their motorcycles out of the trees, they were supposed to orienteer their way back to the rendezvous.

        From his description they were low-light, high-IR CCDs, like using your smartphone for night vision. The problem was the image lag, which meant most of the grunts wound up running into trees a lot.

        Several automobile companies had “enhanced vision” systems on high-end models, intermittently available since the 1990s. Most of them used CCDs coupled with HUD. It was a great idea, but image lag doomed those, too.

        Nowadays hardware and displays are plenty fast enough. I haven’t been following automotive tech for a while now, so I don’t know what’s on the market.

    • I used a paper map, wrote a trip-tick strip, and slid it under the window on the tank bag.

      Eisenhower signed off on the Interstate Highway System when he was President. In 1919 he’d been part of a US Army “expedition” from DC to San Francisco. It was a motorized convoy, very modern.

      That’s a bit over 3200 miles. An Iron Butt rider can make it in three days, depending on how much sleep he needs. In 1919 it took them 62 days. Bad or nonexistent roads and lack of fuel are usually given as the reason the expedition took so long, but there was also the problem of lack of road signs and – though it might be hard to believe – not even the Fed had any freakin’ MAPS of the United States road system. In 1919. The mind, she boggle… the expedition had to hop from town to town, getting directions at each stop. “Go down that road, past where the old Jackson place used to be, and turn left at the second road on the left, should have a white post marking it…”

      • Parts of the San Juan mountains in Colorado weren’t really surveyed and altitude checked until the late 1920s.

      • One of the neat things about my Honda NC700 is that the “fuel tank” is actually a lockable helmet compartment.

        One of the bad things about my Honda NC700 is that the “fuel tank” isn’t metal, so a tank bag doesn’t work. Straps would just mess up the gasket on the compartment.

        • My XJ650 Turbo had plastic bodywork over the tank. I made do with stringing bungees hither and yon, but some owners drilled and installed those twist-turn locking posts that are used by some convertible tops and boat covers, then sewed the matching rings to their tank bags. Looked very nice, and the posts were unobtrusive when the back was off.

          • I’m not too fond of the idea of drilling holes in the bike, and it’s not really worth the trouble for me personally.

  27. I had to get a smartphone because Sprint no longer made any dumb phones that I would trust at all.

    I still have my iPhone 6. When they had the battery issue, I got a new battery. I’m looking at getting an iPhone XR, as I know you never first-generation try anything from Apple if there isn’t a Jobs in the CEO slot.

    I wonder, seriously, how much of our current “progress” is an effort to try and get some kind of sales out of a marketplace that is fundamentally saturated and satisfied.

    (And, I want my own nuclear moon rocket, damn it.)

    • I got my first cell phone some 20 years ago, a Motorola “Startac” flip phone. Some years later, I picked up one of John Ringo’s books form the library and it came with one of the Baen CD’s.

      Now, I had just had a string of several overseas business trips where I had experienced the frustration of running out of reading matter in a language I could read. I’d packed several books but it wasn’t enough. The Baen CD, with a bunch of books in various ebook formats, was a godsend. I looked around and got myself a Sony Clie (my then wife, being Japanese, had urged me to buy Sony) Palm OS device, the Mobipocket reader, and I was good to go, particularly once I followed up with the Baen Free Library.

      Not long after, I upgraded the Clie to a later model which had sound via a headphone jack. I added music to it but ended up dissatisfied because when used as a music player the battery life was atrocious. This led to my getting a dedicated MP3 player.

      So, not long after I got my first cell phone, I was regularly carrying three electronic devices with me: The phone, the Palm device, and the MP3 player.

      Time passed and I went through several of each of the items. Sony stopped selling the Clie for the international market so I went to the Palm Tungsten series. My various flip phones got smaller, more reliable, and less affected by “roaming” charges and less limited in minutes (remember “night and weekend minutes”?) as plans changed. I changed reader programs from the Mobipocket system to one called Stanza. Otherwise things remained much the same for several years.

      Eventually the Palm series dead ended and I had to look for a replacement. I ended up with an iPod Touch. Battery life was good enough that I combined the MP3 player and ereader into one device. I started to appreciate browser and email features at places where I had wifi access. Still, I remained resistant to going “smart phone” because data plans were too expensive for my taste.

      Eventually, the iPod started to die. It would lock up solid and I’d have to hard restart it, often several times, before I could get it back. At that time the price of data plans had come down and so when I was next ready for a phone upgrade by my provider I went with a smartphone. After much consideration I chose Android.

      Sometime back in the 80’s I think it was Samsung had run an add campaign with a Korean guy dressed up as “Uncle Same” with the white goatee and all in the pose of the classic posters with the caption “Uncle Samsung wants you.” I had found that so offensive that I swore off any Samsung products. However, when I was looking at smartphones there really wasn’t anything else that provided the same level of price and features. Eventually I sighed and decided it was time to let it go and got my first smartphone, a Samsung Galaxy S4. And now I had music, reading, and phone all in one device.

      Since then, I’ve upgraded the phone a couple of times. I’ve gone from a 6GB/month data plan to 10GB (shared with my then wife and daughter on their phones) then to Unlimited (shared with my daughter).

      All because I kept running out of reading matter while overseas.

      • > Uncle Samsung Wants You

        I missed those. But I haven’t bought any Logitech products since their “pissing baby” and “Einstein in a tutu” ads years ago.

        Those made a *lot* of (now former) customers angry, but Logitech simply doubled down…

        The disconnect between advertising firms, the people who write checks to them, and the customer base can be downright frightening.

        > three devices

        My phone will talk directly to my hearing aids with Bluetooth. Unfortunately, digging the phone out of a pocket and poking through menus is way more hassle than just reaching up and pushing the Pause button on my mp3 player. It seems to be a rule of nature that absolute strangers will feel it necessary to speak to you if you are listening to an audiobook… plus volume adjustments are much easier on the player.

        > phones got smaller. more reliable

        I was waiting for them to get down to matchbox size… but my HTC is about as small as they got before they started getting larger again. The mega-phone has a 6″ touchscreen. The HTC will only hold a charge for a couple of days now, and it spontaneously reboots quite often, but I guess I’ll use it until the bitter end. Verizon has pushed the date for ending 3G service out to Dec 31 now; the 13-year-old phone just might make it.

      • “All because I kept running out of reading matter while overseas.”

        Just outlined my journey. Minus the overseas. We got our first cell phone (flip) in 1990 because I was on the road once or twice a month (not that I had coverage the entire way between I-5 and the coast). We avoided text until 2003 (?), until it was unlimited, when all 3 of us got cells, still flip. We didn’t go full smart phone until Samsung 6, partly because we don’t upgrade until one of the 3 phones are physically dying or won’t recharge (usually close to 4 years). Even now we have shared data at per GB charge. Pay anywhere from $12 to $48 (average $24/month) for the 3 of us for data.

      • That I could carry a couple hundred books was why I got a Sony Clie, then an iPod Touch, then and iPad. I still am carrying a couple of hundred books, mostly Baen…

  28. Man because women usually don’t define themselves by their profession.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retired_husband_syndrome

    Japan, of course…

  29. Just for the record, the author of Future Shock didn’t know how to work his driveway key-pad. We had to keep letting him in.

    • I believe that. I’m not saying he was a genius. he also failed to guess all the stuff we would get. But broken clock,etc. And he homed in on the “most people can’t handle fast change well.”

  30. HT: Instapundit (meaning you’ve probably all seen this)

    BIG – Report: U.S. Attorney Durham “Administrative Review” is now “A Criminal Investigation”…
    This would appear to be one of the few positive indicators that AG Bill Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham are indeed doing more than bondo. The New York Times is reporting the Durham “review” has now officially moved into a full “criminal investigation”. [All emphasis mine]

    WASHINGTON — For more than two years, President Trump has repeatedly attacked the Russia investigation, portraying it as a hoax and illegal even months after the special counsel closed it. Now, Mr. Trump’s own Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into how it all began.

    Justice Department officials have shifted an administrative review of the Russia investigation closely overseen by Attorney General William P. Barr to a criminal inquiry, according to two people familiar with the matter. The move gives the prosecutor running it, John H. Durham, the power to subpoena for witness testimony and documents, to impanel a grand jury and to file criminal charges.

    My initial question was/is: does this mean the *interviews* with John Brennan and James Clapper were predicated on a shift into a criminal investigation? If yes, is that reality the baseline for the New York Times changing the reporting?

    [SNIP]

    So what the New York Times is outlining here, is the CIA ran an operation using Mifsud to place information into Papadopoulos, a classic set-up, and the FBI is now claiming they had no idea the CIA was the originating intelligence apparatus for that information. Very interesting…. aligns with the FBI defensive framework from last week.

    [SNIP]

    […] As Mr. Durham’s investigation moves forward, the Justice Department inspector general is wrapping up his own inquiry into aspects of the F.B.I.’s conduct in the early days of the Russia investigation. Among other things, the inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, is scrutinizing the application for a warrant to wiretap Mr. Page.

    Mr. Barr has not said whether Mr. Durham’s investigation grew out of the inspector general’s findings or something that prosecutors unearthed while doing interviews or reviewing documents. But the inspector general’s findings, which are expected to be made public in coming weeks, could contribute to the public’s understanding of why Mr. Durham might want to investigate national security officials’ activities in 2016.

    Though the inspector general’s report deals with sensitive information, Mr. Horowitz anticipates that little of it will be blacked out when he releases the document publicly, he wrote in a letter sent to lawmakers on Thursday and obtained by The New York Times.

    [END EXCERPT]

    As Arte Johnson was wont to say, :Verrrry Interesting.”

    • There is NO evidence in support of the rumour that phones at the FBI & CIA are now employing this as their ring tone:


      It’s their On Hold music.

  31. On the Phone GPS being too quiet, that’s why I plug my phone into the car stereo to amplify it. I have really been longing for a Tomtom GPS system just so that I’m not giving my location data to google.

    • Check into the Garmen refurbs on Amazon– I can’t vouch for Tomtom, but we got our refurb with lifetime maps 4 years ago, for $75 bucks, and it’s going strong.

      • I had a tomtom 10 years ago, and a Garmin 14 years ago. I liked the Tomtom a bit more. It’s memory is a bit small due to its age, so I want to pick up a newer one. Just been slacking too much on buying that kind of tech.

    • If you’re running Android, your phone is streaming your location data to The Goog continuously anyway. It’s part of the standard Google applications software load.

      Google will even show you a convenient map of everywhere your phone has ever been: https://support.google.com/maps/answer/6258979?co=GENIE.Platform%3DAndroid&hl=en

      And if you turn GPS off, they’re partnered with all five US cellular providers and get your tower information in real time right from the equipment racks.

      My phone has a non-Google Android OS, a small and carefully checked set of apps, and has never been associated with any Google account or service. But Verizon will still sell my tower data to anyone who wants it. That’s an unfixable security problem that goes all the way back to the first analog phones, except then they weren’t actively trying to “monetize” customer information.

      • Yes, this is why I’m constantly telling android not to go into high resolution location tracking, and it continuously nags me about going into high resolution tracking mode. I’ve been trying to get a non-android non-apple phone now for a few years. I might use the Pine phone, or maybe a Librem 5.

        • I’m waiting for the PinePhone too. If they actually ship at $150, I’ll buy two.

          I’ll have an easier time of it than most since I never got involved with any of the usual phone app stack; I treat my Android phone as a crippled desktop, not an app server. As long as whatever OS they finally ship with it comes with a decent web browser and a VPN, I’ll have everything I need.

  32. Pingback: Current Events 10-25-2019 – HUCKSWORLD.com

  33. I apologize for not having read all the comments. I may come back and do so. I just read a couple of your more political recent posts and came away even more depressed than usual. This one cheered me up a bit by first focusing on the non political and then taking an optimistic view of the political.

    I’ve been around here before, just a bit, but I can’t recall under what name and it has been a while. So I’ll use my real first name.

    I chuckled at the part of this post that focussed on technology, as at 48 I’ve certainly lived through plenty of that kind of change, especially with music.

    I appreciated your positive spin on the political side. I am not so sure but I felt better after that.

    To my mind, the left thinks of us, and me, as the ones experiencing the future shock, unable to come to terms with all the new truths they have discovered. I think their truths are arrant nonsense buttressed by endless circularity sophistry, but I’m starting to get tired and think that, for operational purposes, they have already won and thus their thesis that I have the future shock is self-fulfilling.

    I’m very tired. But I thank you for a positive spin.

    • I apologize for not having read all the comments. I may come back and do so.

      Don’t worry, even regulars don’t always read the comments!